The Elon University women’s tennis team stretched its winning streak to seven with a 6-1 dismantling of Gardner-Webb University March 11 at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center.
“[The girls] have gone after it in every match,” Elon coach Elizabeth Anderson said. “They’ve been playing pretty well and I think there’s a lot we learned from the match today that I think will help us to adjust a couple of things for our next match.”
Wins on all three doubles courts gave the Phoenix the doubles point to begin the match. Seniors Jordan Johnston and Barbora Lazarova cruised by the pairing of junior Yasmin Doost and senior Ronia Hutterli, 8-4, on court No. 1. Senior Bryn Khoury and sophomore Taylor Casey won by the same margin on court No. 2, topping senior Jenny Lunde and sophomore Rokia Sacko.
Elon introduced a new doubles pairing to the lineup, as junior Maria Camara Ruiz and freshman Tolley Rice teamed up to defeat freshmen Catherine White and Mary Walker Mixon of the Runnin’ Bulldogs. As a result, senior Frida Jansaker was given a rest from doubles play.Anderson cited the team’s March 6 match against East Carolina University as the reason for the change. Only three courts could be played on at the indoor facility in Greenville, N.C., and some players from the bottom of the lineup either did not play or were not able to finish their matches. In this match against Gardner-Webb, a nonconference opponent, Anderson was able to give others a chance.
This scenario played out during the singles matches as well, as Johnston was given a rest at the No. 1 position. Jansaker played at No. 1 singles and grinded out a 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) win over Doost. Jansaker and Doost were tied, 4-4, in the second set before Jansaker broke Doost’s serve to go up 5-4 and eventually take the set and match. Though not entirely happy with the way she played, Jansaker was proud that she was able to come out on top.
“Today was a really rough day,” Jansaker said. “I felt like I didn’t play my best tennis but some days you’re going to have that. But the winners work through it and losers find the problems.”
Khoury was first to finish her singles match, as the senior cruised past Gardner-Webb’s Hutterli, 6-1, 6-0. Camara Ruiz, inserted into the lineup after Johnston was removed, was next to claim victory, winning convincingly, 6-0, 6-2, on court No. 6. Lazarova followed with a 6-0, 6-0 sweep of Lunde on court No. 2 to put her team up 4-0 and seal the win for the Phoenix.
Khoury, Camara Ruiz and Lazarova were dominant on the afternoon and lost just three games total in their respective singles matches.
On court No. 4, Casey needed a second set tiebreaker to claim her 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) win over Popko. Elon’s only loss of the afternoon came on court No. 5, where the Runnin’ Bulldogs’ Sacko narrowly defeated Rice, 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-7), in a third set super tiebreaker.
The Phoenix improves to 7-4 on the season and will enjoy a three-day layoff before hitting the road for back-to-back matches this weekend, March 15-16. First will be a Southern Conference matchup against Davidson College at 1 p.m. March 15. Elon will then travel to Winston-Salem, N.C., March 16 for a match against Wake Forest University at 2 p.m.