After a brief two-game win streak, the Elon University women’s tennis team found itself on the losing end of two weekend matches against Samford University and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga April 5-6.
Elon entered the weekend as one of three Southern Conference teams with one conference loss, trailing undefeated Furman University. Samford was one of the other teams with one SoCon loss, and entered the match against Elon riding an 11-match home winning streak.
The Phoenix faced an early 1-0 deficit after dropping doubles matches on courts No. 1 and 3. The duo of junior Maria Camara Ruiz and senior Frida Jansaker was able to pick up an 8-6 win over junior Stephanie N’tcha and sophomore Carita Moolman on court No. 2, but losses by the pairing of senior Jordan Johnston and junior Barbora Lazarova, as well as senior Bryn Khoury and sophomore Taylor Casey gave the doubles point to the Bulldogs.
Samford eased through singles play, winning on four of the six courts to finish off a 5-2 defeat of the Phoenix. Johnston, Lazarova and Casey were each defeated in straight sets on their respective courts, while Camara Ruiz forced redshirt freshman Lauren Caballero to a third set super-tiebreaker before eventually dropping the match, 3-6, 6-4, 0-1 (6-10).
Jansaker and Khoury were able to earn points for Elon by winning matches on courts No. 2 and 4, respectively. Jansaker captured a 6-2, 6-2 win against senior Kristin Lewis, while Khoury needed three sets to finish off sophomore Jessica Northcutt, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.
The Phoenix then traveled from Birmingham, Ala., to Chattanooga, Tenn., to take on the Mocs April 6. After Johnston and Lazarova won on court No. 1 to begin doubles play, Elon’s No. 2 and 3 doubles pairings were unable to seal the deal, and the Phoenix fell behind 1-0.
The Mocs followed with three straight singles wins to take a 4-0 lead and clinch the match. Johnston dropped her match on court No. 1, marking her third straight singles defeat. The senior is now 9-7 in singles play this spring after a 15-win 2013 campaign.
Jansaker, Khoury and freshman Tolley Rice fought hard for the Phoenix after the match had already been decided by earning victories in each of their respective matches. Rice used a third set super-tiebreaker to top sophomore Alison Storie, 6-3, 6-7, 1-0. Jansaker and Khoury also won their matches in three sets, but that was not enough, as Elon lost 4-3. Jansaker’s victory was her fifth straight in singles play, while Khoury picked up her fourth straight with her win over sophomore Kelsey Coots.
The Phoenix drops to 10-8 and 4-3 in the SoCon with the two losses. Elon will face off against the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in its next match. The Spartans are currently are tied with Elon in the SoCon standings with a record of 4-3. The match, Elon’s final road match of the regular season, is set for 2 p.m. April 10 in Greensboro, N.C.