Wake Forest Edged by UNCG 4-3
Feb. 16, 2013
By Currie McFayden, Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeTennis)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The overall match came down to a decisive clash at the No. 1 singles position, but Wake Forest fell 4-3 to UNCG at the Indoor Tennis Center on Saturday afternoon.
The loss drops the Deacs to 1-4 on the season, while the Spartans improve to 2-2.
In doubles competition, Kathryn Talbert and Kasey Gardiner cruised to an easy 8-2 win at the No. 1 spot over UNCG's Alex Whitehead and Niltooli Wilkins. The match was the first that the duo had been able to fully complete since Jan. 26 against Elon.
At the No. 3 position, Brigita Bercyte and Andrea Retolaza appeared to be in control after going up 5-2 midway through their match against Stephanie Falcon and Dilara Yurtkuran. The Spartan duo battled all the way back, however, and topped the Deacs by a final score of 8-6, leaving No. 2 doubles as the decisive point.
Annette Rios and Kayla Gammie of UNCG jumped out to an early 3-0 lead over Wake's Karen Forman and Xue Zhang, but the Deacs refused to go away, fighting their way back to tie the match at 7-7. Despite their momentum, though, the Spartans held on and claimed the final two games to win 9-7 and seal the doubles point.
In singles, Wake Forest quickly rebounded with two straight-sets victories from Gardiner at No. 2 and Zhang at No. 4. Gardiner dropped Yurtkuran 6-3, 6-2 to preserve her perfect record in dual matches this season, moving to 5-0. Zhang posted an identical 6-3, 6-2 victory over Rios to put the Deacs out in front 2-1 in the overall match.
The Spartans responded with a pair of straight-sets wins of their own to reclaim a 3-2 lead. Retolaza forced the second set to a tiebreaker, but fell 6-3, 7-6 (7-0) to Whitehead, while Bercyte dropped a 6-4, 6-3 decision to Falcon.
With the final two singles matches becoming must-win scenarios for the Demon Deacons, Forman powered through at No. 5 singles to knot up the match at 3-3. The sophomore struggled a bit in the second set before finding her form and turning the final set into a rout for a 7-5, 4-6, 6-0 victory over Soumeya Anane.
Talbert clashed with UNCG's Wilkins in the decisive match and seemed to have the upper hand after grabbing the first set, 6-4. Wilkins rebounded in the second, though, storming back to claim it, 7-5. In the final set, Talbert raced out to a 5-4 lead and had a chance to serve for the match, but Wilkins eventually pushed back to earn the 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 win and clinch the overall match for UNCG.
Wake Forest will be back in action next Saturday, Feb. 23, as the Deacs take on No. 43 Long Beach State at 12:00 p.m. at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex. The meeting will be the first ever between the two schools.
UNCG 4, Wake Forest 3