Since joining the Division I ranks, the Elon University women’s tennis team has only beaten one Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) team — Wake Forest University.  That win came last season, a narrow 4-3 triumph over the Demon Deacons.  But Elon was not as lucky in this year’s matchup, as Wake Forest topped the Phoenix, 6-1, at the Wake Forest Indoor Tennis Center March 16.

The Phoenix started doubles play with a win on court No. 3, where senior Bryn Khoury and sophomore Taylor Casey took down junior Karen Forman and senior Brigita Bercyte, 8-5.  The No. 72 pairing of freshmen Luisa Fernandez and Samantha Asch subsequently defeated senior Frida Jansaker and junior Maria Camara Ruiz, 8-4, on court No. 2, leaving the doubles point to be decided on court No. 1.

Senior Jordan Johnston and junior Barbora Lazarova were locked in a tight battle with sophomores Xue Zhang and Kasey Gardiner throughout, and needed a tiebreaker to decide the match.  Wake Forest eventually came out on top, as Zhang and Gardiner took the tiebreaker, 7-3, and the match, 8-7, to give the Demon Deacons a 1-0 lead heading into singles play.

Wake Forest started out fast during singles play as well, as Gardiner handled Khoury, 6-0, 6-2.  Freshman Kimmy Guerin’s 6-2, 6-1 defeat of Johnston on court No. 1 gave the Demon Deacons a 3-0 lead.  Wake Forest then clinched the match on court No. 2 shortly after with Fernandez’s 6-4, 6-0 win over Jansaker.

Lazarova got Elon on the board after the match had been clinched by beating Wake Forest’s Asch, 6-2, 6-4, to make it a 4-1 Wake Forest advantage.  Forman then defeated Rice on court No. 6 and Zhang got by Casey in a second set tiebreaker to finish off the 6-1 win for the Demon Deacons.

Elon falls to 0-3 on the season against ACC opponents with the loss, and 1-22 in program history.  The Phoenix is now 8-5 on the season and closes nonconference play with a record of 6-5.

The team will return to the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center for a match at 2:30 p.m. March 21 against Furman University.  The Paladins will bring a 7-5 record to Elon to play its first Southern Conference match of the season.

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