Deacs Suffer 5-2 Setback against No. 45 NC State
Xue Zhang is now 5-1 in her last six matches after downing Nicole Martinez 5-7, 6-3, 1-0 (1) on Saturday.

March 2, 2013

Final Stats

By Currie McFayden, Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeTennis)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest posted victories in two of the top three singles positions, but the team ultimately dropped a 5-2 decision to No. 45 NC State on Saturday afternoon at the Indoor Tennis Center.

With the loss, the Demon Deacons fall to 1-8 on the season and 0-2 in conference play, while the Wolfpack maintains a perfect 7-0 record and moves to 1-0 in ACC matches.

NC State came out of the gates on fire during doubles action, moving quickly to secure the point with victories at the No. 2 and 3 positions. Xue Zhang and Andrea Retolaza fell 8-3 against Elisha Hande and Nicole Martinez at the second spot, while Brigita Bercyte and Karen Forman dropped their match at the third spot by the same score to Chloe Smith and Sophie Nelson.

With the point decided and the No. 1 position deadlocked in a 7-7 tie, Kathryn Talbert and Kasey Gardiner opted to play a seven-point tiebreaker to decide the match. Both sides traded points early, but Joelle Kissell and Tatiana Illova eventually came away with the 8-7 (7-2) victory.

Heading into singles play with a 1-0 lead, the Wolfpack added to their lead with two quick victories at Nos. 2 and 5. Gardiner fought hard but could not hold off Illova in a 6-1, 6-2 setback at No. 2, while Retolaza made a hard push in the second set but fell 6-2, 6-4 against Hande to give NC State a 3-0 lead.

The Deacons refused to go away, however. Talbert, who missed Wednesday's match against North Carolina due to injury, easily dispatched NC State's Kissell, the No. 52 singles player in the nation, in straight sets 7-5, 6-4. The victory was Talbert's second over a top-100 player this spring and was a strong performance coming off of her injury.



Needing victories in the remaining three matches to clinch, the Deacs turned to Forman and Bercyte at Nos. 4 and 6. Both players had very competitive matches but came up just short. Forman fell 6-4, 7-6 (4) against the Wolfpack's Rachael James-Baker, and Bercyte dropped a 7-6 (2), 6-1 decision against Smith.

Despite NC State's insurmountable 5-1 lead, Zhang played out her match at No. 3 singles and performed very well, rallying from a set down to claim a 5-7, 6-3, 1-0 (1) victory against Martinez. The freshman is now 5-1 in her last six matches with her only loss coming against North Carolina's Whitney Kay, a match which pressed her into action at No. 2 instead of her normal position.

As previously announced, the start time of Sunday's match against No. 25 William & Mary has been moved from 12:00 p.m. to 11:00 a.m. and will be played concurrently with the men's match indoors. Both teams will have a set of four courts to play on, meaning that singles will be broken into two waves rather than all playing at once.

#45 NC State 5, Wake Forest 2

Singles Competition
1. Kathryn Talbert (WF) def. #52 Joelle Kissell (NCSU) 7-5, 6-4
2. Tatiana Illova (NCSU) def. Kasey Gardiner (WF) 6-1, 6-2
3. Xue Zhang (WF) def. Nicole Martinez (NCSU) 5-7, 6-3, 1-0 (10-1)
4. Rachael James-Baker (NCSU) def. Karen Forman (WF) 6-4, 7-6 (7-4)
5. Elisha Hande (NCSU) def. Andrea Retolaza (WF) 6-2, 6-4
6. Chloe Smith (NCSU) def. Brigita Bercyte (WF) 7-6 (7-2), 6-1

Doubles Competition
1. Joelle Kissell/Tatiana Illova (NCSU) def. Kathryn Talbert/Kasey Gardiner (WF) 8-7 (7-2)
2. Elisha Hande/Nicole Martinez (NCSU) def. Xue Zhang/Andrea Retolaza (WF) 8-3
3. Chloe Smith/Sophie Nelson (NCSU) def. Brigita Bercyte/Karen Forman (WF) 8-3

Match Notes:
NC State 7-0 (1-0 ACC); National ranking #45
Wake Forest 1-8 (0-2 ACC)
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2*,1); Singles (2,5,1,4*,6,3)
T-3:29 A-88

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