No. 25 William & Mary Defeats Wake Forest 5-2
March 3, 2013
By Currie McFayden, Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeTennis)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest got off to a hot start in singles, but could not close out the match against No. 25 William & Mary, falling 5-2 inside the Indoor Tennis Center on Sunday afternoon.
With the loss, the Demon Deacons drop to 1-9 overall on the season, while the Tribe improves to 11-2.
In doubles action, Kathryn Talbert and Kasey Gardiner jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on the Tribe's Maria Belaya and Jeltje Loomans, the No. 2 doubles team in the nation. Unfortunately, the top doubles duo could not maintain that momentum and ultimately dropped the match 8-3.
At No. 3 doubles, Brigita Bercyte and Karen Forman also grabbed an early lead in their match, but Leeza Nemchinov and Sydney Smith stormed back to claim the match 8-1. With that win, William & Mary clinched the doubles point to take a 1-0 lead heading into singles.
Xue Zhang and Andrea Retolaza trailed 5-3 at No. 2 doubles against Anik Cepeda and Hope Johnson when the point was decided, but the two sides opted to leave their match unfinished.
The Tribe quickly grabbed a 2-0 lead as Cepeda downed Forman 6-1, 6-0 at No. 4 singles, but the Deacons grabbed one-set leads at the top three positions to put themselves in an excellent position in singles play.
Talbert, coming off her upset of No. 52 Joelle Kissell of NC State on Saturday afternoon, picked up another big win at No. 1 singles. After struggling and going down 3-0 early in the first set, the senior rallied to earn the straight-sets victory, 7-5, 6-2, over William & Mary's Loomans.
Gardiner and Zhang each played grueling three-set matches at Nos. 2 and 3, respectively. Gardiner claimed the first set, but could not find her touch the rest of the way, falling to the Tribe's Belaya 6-4, 1-6, 0-6.
Zhang earned the win in her first set through a tiebreaker against Nemchinov, but like Gardiner she could not maintain that same momentum over the course of the match. Despite a strong push to stay in the match during the third set, Zhang fell 7-6 (3), 0-6, 4-6 at No. 3 singles.
At the sixth singles position, Bercyte put up a strong fight against Smith before falling 6-4, 6-2.
Finally, at No. 5 singles, Retolaza used a very hard-fought three-set match against Johnson to get back into the win column. The freshman fought through a tiebreaker to win the first set as well as a decisive third-set tiebreaker in order to prevail 7-6 (3), 5-7, 1-0 (6) for her first victory since Jan. 26.
"Today was a fantastic effort against one of the better teams in the country. We've been a little inconsistent; we do need to play better doubles, because winning that first point would make a huge difference. We got two great wins out of Kathryn and Andrea today, and I think that shows who we are capable of playing against," head coach Jeff Wyshner said of Sunday's performance.
With their eight-match homestand now behind them, the Demon Deacons will return to action next Sunday, Mar. 10, as they travel to Tampa, Fla., to face No. 58 South Florida at 11:00 a.m.
#25 William & Mary 5, Wake Forest 2
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