Wake Forest Falls 4-3 to No. 47 VCU Despite Strong Singles Play
Feb. 9, 2013
By Currie McFayden, Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeTennis)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Kathryn Talbert and Kasey Gardiner picked up huge wins at the top two singles positions, but Wake Forest fell 4-3 to No. 47 VCU on Saturday morning inside the Indoor Tennis Center.
The Demon Deacons drop to 1-3 on the season following the loss, while the Rams improve to 7-2.
VCU came out strong during doubles play to open the morning, quickly clinching the point with wins at the No. 2 and 3 spots. Karen Forman and Xue Zhang fell 8-2 to Salome Kvitashvili and Olga Terteac at No. 2, while Andrea Retolaza and Brigita Bercyte dropped an 8-4 decision to Karina Alesha and Josefin Hjertquist at No. 3.
Talbert and Gardiner battled back from a 3-0 deficit at No. 1 doubles to take a 7-6 lead, but their match against Olga Barscheuskaya and Daria Yakauleva was left unfinished since it would not affect the doubles outcome.
In singles action, the two sides split the first pair of matches to finish. Barscheuskaya defeated Forman at No. 5 singles 6-1, 6-0 in the first match to be completed, but the Deacs answered right back as Zhang dropped Yukako Noi 6-4, 6-4 at No. 4.
The Rams finally found the two points that they needed to clinch the match with wins at the No. 3 and No. 6 spots. Bercyte fought hard in the second set, but could not overcome VCU's Karina Alesha at No. 6, falling 6-1, 7-5. Retolaza, ranked 125th in the nation, fell in nearly the same way, being downed 6-2, 7-5 by Hjertquist at No. 3.
Even with the overall match decided, the top two singles matches were played out, allowing Talbert and Gardiner to shine. Talbert, a senior from Mooresville, N.C., picked up one of the biggest wins of her career as she rallied to defeat No. 46 Kvitashvili 7-6 (7-4), 5-2. With Talbert a game away from victory, her foe elected to retire from the match due to fatigue, giving her the huge upset.
Gardiner, on the other hand, persevered through an incredible second set to emerge victorious. The freshman powered through the first set, taking it 6-4, but faced a much tougher fight in the second. After exchanging the lead with Terteac several times, she finally prevailed in a decisive tiebreak, winning the match 6-4, 7-6 (9-7) to remain undefeated this spring in singles.
Wake Forest will return to action next Saturday at 12:00 p.m. as the Demon Deacons host UNCG at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex.