The women’s tennis team faced an uphill battle against the South Alabama Jaguars this past Friday. The Hurricanes were able to prove that determination conquers all, however, and improved their record to 4-0 with a 7-0 victory.
For the No. 37 Jaguars, their defeat at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center drops them to 4-3 overall.
The doubles matches were won in a dynamic fashion, giving the Hurricanes an early 1-0 lead over the Jaguars. The duo of No. 97 Melissa Applebaum and No. 11 Megan Bradley combined their strength and agility to defeat No. 85 Katarina Palenikova and Ana Rupic 8-1. The tandem needed a doubles victory after losing against Alabama. Audrey Banada and Mari Toro rallied for critical points, resulting in the defeat of Dominika Nemcovicova and Merlieke Jager 8-3. Sihem Bennacer and Sara Robbins’ hard work paid off against Klara Jarova and Andrea Kurekova, leading to an impressive 8-6 win.
The singles matches were marked by fierce competition from each competitor. Bradley overcame several controversial calls in her match against Kurekova to win 6-4, 6-1.
After losing her previous singles match, Toro dueled with Palenikova for some spectacular points in their contest. Toro placed her shots at opposite ends of the court, surprising Palenikova, and resulting in a 6-2, 6-2 win. Freshman Audrey Banada played impressive tennis, clinching the match for the Hurricanes. Despite being a little tense, Banada was able to top Jarova in a 6-3, 7-5 win.
“I was a little shaky, but I pulled it [off]. I didn’t feel I had a rhythm but I was able to keep my composure,” Banada said. “It’s all really about working hard.”
Bennacer had some trouble in the second set of her match, but her determination in the third set led to the defeat of her opponent Rupic 6-4,1-6, 6-4. Staci Stevens had a rough start against Nemcovicova, losing the first set, but she came back in the second and third sets to win 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Applebaum’s singles match started well against Jager, but she let a straight-set victory opportunity slip away in the second set. In the third set Applebaum’s rallied for a 6-2, 5-7, 7-5 win.
“From this match I learned that you’re going to have great days, you’re going to have bad days, you’re going to have OK days, and no matter what you do, you have to walk away with that knowing that you put your heart into it,” Applebaum said.
The No. 22 Hurricanes will be on the road this week as they prepare to take on No.11 Harvard on Thursday at 2 p.m.
Antoinette Crdova can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org