Wake Forest Upsets No. 62 Virginia Tech 4-3
April 7, 2013
By Currie McFayden, Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeWTennis)
BLACKSBURG, VA. - Wake Forest took three of the six singles matches as well as the doubles point to shock No. 62 Virginia Tech 4-3 in a back-and-forth battle at the Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center on Sunday afternoon.
It was the first ACC victory of the season for the Demon Deacons (2-15, 1-6 ACC) and marked the first time that Wake Forest has defeated a ranked squad since Feb. 19, 2012. The Hokies (13-7, 2-5 ACC) dropped their fifth straight match after beginning the season 13-2.
"Today was a fantastic effort by the team and the culmination of what we've been working towards since the beginning of the season. One of our goals was to get better by April, and we certainly showed that today. With their efforts today, this team showed that they will not quit, and I am very proud of them for that," head coach Jeff Wyshner said of the victory.
With an early edge, Brigita Bercyte and Andrea Retolaza wasted no time in sealing the doubles point. Virginia Tech's Carol Kahoun and Emily Lauten put up a strong fight to keep the match close, but Bercyte and Retolaza pulled through to seize the 8-6 victory and the point. It was Wake's first doubles point since taking it against San Diego on Mar. 13.
In singles, the Hokies jumped back in front with a pair of quick wins. Bercyte, competing in singles for the first time since Mar. 24, could not hold off Ivanovic at No. 6 and retired from the match while trailing 6-3, 3-0. At No. 2, Gardiner rebounded in her second set against Mita, but ultimately dropped a 6-0, 6-2 decision.
Needing a win to even the contest, Talbert came through for the Deacs in a big way at No. 1 singles. The senior bounced back from her tough outing on Saturday to post a dominant 6-0, 6-3 victory over Stoica that leveled the overall match at 2-2.
"Kathryn went out there today and took care of business," Wyshner said. "We needed a big performance from her and her singles play was an important part of our win."
Virginia Tech proved to be resilient, however, and grabbed the advantage once again with a win by Kahoun at No. 5. Retolaza fought hard in both sets but came up just short in the 6-3, 6-4 setback.
With the Hokies holding a 3-2 lead, the Demon Deacons looked to Zhang and Forman to continue the strong play that they had begun as a doubles pair earlier in the day.
Zhang certainly did her part in the opening set at No. 3. The freshman from Weifang, China, pushed Isel Martinez-Marcos around the court en route to blanking her 6-0 to go up a set. Unfortunately, Zhang's momentum stalled a bit in the second set, allowing Martinez-Marcos back into the match as she claimed a 6-2 win. In the decisive final set, though, Zhang rediscovered her opening-set touch and set the stage for a dramatic ending with a 6-0, 2-6, 6-1 victory.
Thanks to Zhang's win, the stage was set squarely for Forman at No. 4. The Del Mar, Calif., native's match proved to be a near mirror image of Zhang's victory. She rocketed out to a quick lead by claiming the first set 6-4 against Williford, but the Hokie was able to battle back and force a third set with a 6-2 win in the second. With the match on the line, Forman proved to be the hero of the day for the Deacs by taking both the third set and the match 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 to give Wake Forest the 4-3 victory.
"Xue and Karen battled hard today and helped us pull out the win," Wyshner said. "Karen has been in the same position a couple of times this season to help us clinch a match and she really came through for the team today."
The Demon Deacons will be back in action next Saturday, Apr. 13, as they face Maryland at 12:00 p.m. at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex. Live stats for the match will be available on WakeForestSports.com.
Wake Forest 4, #62 Virginia Tech 3