Wake Forest Posts Dominant 6-1 Victory over Elon
March 16, 2014
By Currie McFayden, Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeWTennis)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest fought off two match points in doubles and had several dominant singles performances inside the Indoor Tennis Center on Sunday afternoon to hand local foe Elon a 6-1 defeat.
The Demon Deacons improve to 9-6 on the season following the win, while the Phoenix drop to 8-5 and have their eight-match winning streak snapped.
"Today was a really great effort," Head Coach Jeff Wyshner said of his team's performance. "We had a tough day yesterday, and we all talked before the match that we had to come out and have a strong answer for that. Everyone played a great match, top to bottom, in both singles and doubles today."
In doubles action, Elon grabbed the early advantage in the race for the doubles point with a victory at the No. 3 position. Karen Forman and Brigita Bercyte kept things close for much of the match before a late momentum swing in Elon's favor. The upperclassmen fought hard, but fell 8-5 to the Phoenix duo.
At No. 2 doubles, the No. 72 pairing of Luisa Fernandez and Samantha Asch spent much of the early part of the match feeling out their opponents, Frida Jansaker and Maria Camara Ruiz. With the match knotted at 4-4, however, the freshmen came alive and won the final four games en route to an 8-4 victory.
In one of the most dramatic doubles matches of the season for the Demon Deacons, Xue Zhang and Kasey Gardiner fell into an early 4-1 hole against Jordan Johnston and Barbora Lazarova at No. 1 doubles. Undeterred by the situation, the sophomores kept their cool and fought back to close Elon's lead to just 7-6. Needing a break to even the match and force a tiebreaker, Zhang and Gardiner got just that, battling off a pair of match points in the process.
In the tiebreaker, the Deacons caught fire, rattling off the first six points in their favor before finally closing out the 8-7 (3) win to give Wake Forest the doubles point and a 1-0 overall lead in the match.
"We're very proud of what Kasey and Xue did for us today," Wyshner said of the duo. "To come from two match points down in such an important match really set the tone for the rest of our day."
With the opening point in hand, Wake Forest wasted little time in closing out the match in dominant fashion. At the No. 4 singles position, Gardiner remained in top form, winning her first set 6-0 over Khoury in just 15 minutes. After splitting the first four games of the second set, the sophomore cruised to a 6-0, 6-2 win after claiming the final four games for her 11th dual singles victory of the season.
Kimmy Guerin, again featuring at No. 1 singles for the Demon Deacons, posted a 6-2, 6-1 win over Johnston. After a heartbreaking three-set loss on Saturday, Guerin came to play against the Phoenix, taking control early and never letting up while getting the win.
Fernandez sealed the match for Wake Forest at No. 2 singles. Tied at 4-4 with Jansaker in the first set, the freshman rattled off wins in eight consecutive games, blanking her opponent in the second set to earn a 6-4, 6-0 victory. That win gave Wake Forest an insurmountable 4-0 lead, but both sides opted to play out the remaining matches.
The Phoenix got onto the board at No. 3 singles, but it would be their lone point of the contest. Despite a solid performance from Asch, Lazarova collected the 6-2, 6-4 win to cut Wake Forest's lead to 4-1.
Forman and Zhang closed out the match with victories at the bottom two singles positions for the Demon Deacons. Forman, the lone upperclassman playing singles for Wake Forest, took the lead early and the outcome was never in doubt as she posted a 6-1, 6-3 win over Elon's Tolley Rice. The junior now has a 4-0 record in dual singles play during the 2014 season.
Finally, Zhang got her first win at the No. 5 position this season against Casey of the Phoenix. The Weifang, China, native easily earned a 6-2 win in the opening set, but had to fight much harder in the second. Casey rallied to send the set into a tiebreaker, but Zhang found her game and won four straight points to close out the 6-2, 7-6 (2) win.
Wake Forest will return to action next Saturday afternoon, March 22, as they welcome No. 58 Virginia Tech (9-6, 2-4 ACC) to the Wake Forest Tennis Complex. The Demon Deacons earned a 4-3 victory over the Hokies in Blacksburg, Va., last year, with Zhang claiming the decisive point at No. 3 singles.
Wake Forest 6, Elon University 1