Singles Play Propels WVU Past Marshall

  • By Christopher Pharis
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  • February 19, 2017 06:22 PM
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Morgantown, W.Va.The West Virginia University women’s tennis team used a late rally in singles play to defeat in-state rival Marshall, 4-3, in Morgantown at the Ridgeview Racquet Club on Sunday.  
WVU opened the match with a solid start, winning both of the doubles matches that finished play. Paula Goetz and Lyn Yuen Choo topped Marshall’s Stephanie Smith and Daniela Dankanych, 6-3, on the third court in the first match of the day. The Mountaineers then claimed the doubles point, when Habiba Shaker and Sofia Duran bested Maddie Silver and Rachael Morales, 7-5, at No. 2. Action was then stopped on court No. 1, where the tandem of Kaja Mrgole and Christina Jordan were in a tiebreaker set with Derya Turhan and Anna Pomyatinskaya.
“It was very important for us to do better in doubles. Not necessarily in terms of the game, but to close out doubles point,” fourth-year coach Miha Lisac said. “It was important for us to play ahead and we were able to accomplish that in both matches this weekend”
However, the momentum of the West Virginia doubles victory did not last long, as the Thundering Herd picked up victories in three of the first four singles matches. Morales evened the team score at one apiece when she defeated Jordan in two sets. 6-3 and 6-0, at No. 4. No. 122 Maddie Silver then dropped Mrgole, 6-0 and 6-4 on the second court to give the Thundering Herd a 2-1 advantage.
At No. 1, Shaker earned a two-set victory (7-5 and 5-2) over Derya Turhan to level the score at two-all. Goetz would then fall to Marshall’s Smith, 6-4, 6-2, to give the Thundering Herd the 3-2 advantage. Marshall would need just one more singles win to triumph over the Mountaineers for the fifth season in a row.
WVU’s resiliency was the key to the match as they went on to win the next two singles matches to claim the victory, 4-3. At No. 5, Choo dropped Dankanych, 6-0 and 6-4. Duran earned her second singles victory of the weekend when she bested Bogicevic, 6-4 and 6-2, to secure the Mountaineers win.  
“Sofia (Duran) and Lyn Yuen (Choo) came through for us in a big way today,” Lisac continued. “It was very good to see Habiba (Shaker) bounce back from yesterday.”
Sunday’s West Virginia victory over Marshall ends the Thundering Herd’s four-game winning streak in the series.  WVU now leads the battle for the Mountain State, 22-17.
The Mountaineers will now travel to Bloomington, Indiana on Saturday, March 4, to take on the Indiana Hoosiers in their final nonconference match of the season. The contest will be the first time the first meeting between the two schools.
Singles Competition:
No. 1: Habiba Shaker (WVU) def. Derya Turhan (MAR) - 7-5, 6-2
No. 2: #122 Maddie Silver (MAR) def. Kaja Mrgole (WVU) - 6-0, 6-4
No. 3: Stephanie Smith (MAR) def. Paula Goetz (WVU) - 6-4, 6-2
No. 4: Rachael Morales (MAR) def. Christina Jordan (WVU) - 6-3, 6-0
No. 5: Lyn Yuen Choo (WVU) def. Daniela Dankanych (MAR) - 6-0, 6-4
No. 6: Sofia Duran (WVU) def. Marija Bogicevic (MAR) - 6-4, 6-2
Doubles competition:
No. 1: Kaja Mrgole/Christina Jordan (WVU) vs. Derya Turhan/Anna Pomyatinskaya (MAR) - 6-6 (2-5), unfinished
No. 2: Habiba Shaker/Sofia Duran (WVU) def. Maddie Silver/Rachael Morales (MAR) - 7-5
No. 3: Paula Goetz/Lyn Yuen Choo (WVU) def. Stephanie Smith/Daniela Dankanych (MAR) - 6-3
Order of Finish: Doubles (3, 2); Singles (4, 2, 1, 3, 5, 6)
Keep up with West Virginia women’s tennis on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook by following @WVUtennis.