Wake Forest Falls 5-2 to Louisville
Feb. 24, 2013
By Currie McFayden, Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeTennis)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The Wake Forest women's tennis team picked up two singles victories on Sunday afternoon at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex, but could not overcome Louisville in a 5-2 setback.
The Demon Deacons drop to 1-6 on the season following the loss, while the Cardinals improve to 9-3. The Deacs also dropped to 0-2 in outdoor matches after falling to Winthrop 4-3 on Feb. 8.
In doubles play, Louisville jumped ahead early with a victory at the top spot as Julia Fellerhoff and Rebecca Shine downed Kathryn Talbert and Kasey Gardiner 9-7, but Wake Forest responded with a win at No. 2 courtesy of Xue Zhang and Andrea Retolaza, who dropped Mandy Brown and Stefanie Villajuan 8-6 to even the doubles score.
No. 3 doubles proved to be the clinching match for the point. Brigita Bercyte and Karen Forman fought hard against Louisville's Manuela Velasquez and Rebecca Bodine but ultimately could not pull out the win, falling 8-4 as the Cardinals picked up an early 1-0 lead in the overall match.
Forman came out firing for the Deacs at No. 5 singles, quickly evening the overall match at 1-1 by easily dispatching Villajuan of the Cardinals 6-2, 6-4. The victory pushes the sophomore back to a winning record (4-3) in dual matches thus far on the season.
The Cardinals struck back with two swift wins of their own at the No. 3 and No. 6 spots. Bercyte was downed by Bodine 6-0, 6-1 at No. 6 and Retolaza fell against Brown 7-5, 6-0 at No. 3. With those victories, Louisville pushed ahead to claim a 3-1 lead, needing just one more win to clinch the overall match.
Gardiner, playing at No. 2 singles, dropped her first set against Shine but battled back to claim the second. After splitting, the pair moved to a decisive third set. Shine grabbed the early advantage and managed to hold on for the 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 win despite Gardiner's hard-fought pushes throughout the set to give the Cardinals the overall victory.
With the match decided, Talbert and Zhang opted to play out the final two matches, both of which went the distance for three sets. Talbert, at No. 1, dropped a close 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 decision to Fellerhoff after winning the first set.
Zhang, in the longest match of the day, staved off a match point by Velasquez in the final set and triumphed in the day's lone tiebreaker to earn an 0-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) victory in the three-set battle. The freshman was forced to adjust her returning style to cope with Velasquez's underhand serve, a rarity in collegiate tennis. The Weifang, China, native did just that, however, despite struggling in the opening set.
Wake Forest will return to action as the squad kicks off ACC play on Wednesday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. The Deacs will host top-ranked North Carolina at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex and will be seeking their first win over the Tar Heels since a 4-3 victory in 2007.
Louisville 5, Wake Forest 2
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