The Elon University women’s tennis team won its second straight match despite falling behind the visiting Seahawks of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington early, but came away with a dramatic 4-3 victory at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center Feb. 17.
Senior Frida Jansaker and junior Maria Camara Ruiz beat UNCW’s Alyssa Ritchie and Angie Sekely, earning an 8-1 win on court No. 2 to kick off the doubles matches. On court No. 3, Elon’s pairing of seniors Bryn Khoury and Viviana Stavreva jumped out to a 3-0 lead over Kelly Cameron and Miller Hales, but Cameron and Hales would go on to win eight straight games to win 8-3, leaving the doubles point to be decided on court No. 1. Elon’s top pairing of senior Jordan Johnston and sophomore Taylor Casey battled, but ultimately fell to Olga Blank and Christine Kharkevich, giving the doubles point to the Seahawks.
UNCW would carry that momentum into the singles matches, taking a 2-0 lead after Kharkevich defeated Casey in straight sets. Elon’s Lazarova and Jansaker then tied the match, 2-2, with wins on courts No. 3 and No. 2, respectively.
The remaining three matches all would be decided in three sets. Johnston gained a point for the Phoenix by defeating Sekely, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-3. Johnston started off slowly but found her rhythm in the second set, going up 4-0 and never looking back. UNCW’s Cameron subsequently defeated Khoury on court No. 4, 7-5, 3-6, 6-2, leaving the match to be decided on court No. 6.
Elon freshman Tolley Rice, playing in just her second collegiate match, battled the Seahawks’ Hamilton Lovett down to the wire. Rice took the first set, 6-1, before losing the second set, 3-6. In a marathon of a third set, Rice came out victorious, outlasting Lovett, 6-3, to clinch the match for Elon.
The match was originally scheduled for Feb. 14, but snow and ice throughout the region forced the match to be moved to Feb. 17.
Elon moves to 2-4 on the young season with the win, its second straight. The Phoenix is back in action at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center Feb. 22 for a pair of matches against North Carolina A&T State University and Radford University. The matches are scheduled for 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.