Deacons Set for Three-Match Road Swing
Ryann Cutillo has yet to drop a match at No. 2 singles this year

Feb. 29, 2012

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The Wake Forest women's tennis team will play a string of tough road matches this week when it travels to take on No. 13 North Carolina, William and Mary and No. 42 VCU. The Deacons will face the Tar Heels on Thursday at 2:30 p.m., the Tribe on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and the Rams on Sunday at 11 a.m.

The Deacs sit at 1-4 (0-1 ACC) and came up just short of a win in their ACC opener last Sunday, falling 4-3 on the road at NC State. Despite struggling at time in singles this year, Wake Forest has been lights-out in doubles, winning the doubles point in all five matches.

Against the `Pack, the Deacons took the opening point by virtue of wins at the No. 1 and No. 3 positions. Wake Forest's 56th-ranked duo of Kayla Duncan and Kathryn Talbert have played No. 1 in all five spring matches and are a perfect 5-0. They won their 28th match together against NC State's Joelle Kissell and Ashley Miller, moving them into 10th place in school history for wins by a doubles team.

Brigita Bercyte and Karen Forman have been clutch for Wake Forest at the No. 3 doubles position in recent matches, clinching the doubles point against both NC State and USF.

The strength of the Wake Forest singles lineup so far this year has been Ryann Cutillo at No. 2 and Talbert at No. 3. Cutillo is 4-0 at No. 2, while Talbert is 4-1 at No. 3, and both won their singles matches against NC State.

Always one of the top teams in the ACC, North Carolina will present a tough test for Wake Forest. Last season the Deacons put an early scare into UNC at Leighton Stadium in Winston-Salem, winning the doubles point against a Tar Heel squad that was ranked No. 3 nationally, but the Heels rallied in singles to earn a 5-2 victory. Duncan and Talbert earned a marquee doubles victory in that match, topping Carolina's team top team of Shinnan Featherston and Lauren McHale that was then ranked as the fifth-best duo in the country.

 

 

This year's Carolina squad features four ranked singles players, headlined by No. 27 Lauren McHale and No. 31 Zoe De Bruycker. McHale and Shinnan Featherston form the 12th-ranked doubles team in the country. The Tar Heels hold a 7-4 record and will be playing their ACC opener against the Demon Deacons.

The Tribe, traditionally a solid team, have struggled to start the year, holding a 2-7 record. William & Mary is led by its top doubles team of Maria Belaya and Jeltje Loomans, which has started the season 7-2 at the No. 1 spot and is ranked No. 35 nationally.

Last year against William & Mary at home, Wake Forest dropped the doubles point but dominated singles, sweeping all six matches to notch a 6-1 win. Duncan picked up the clinching point at No. 4, downing Anik Cepeda 6-3, 6-3.

VCU, on the other hand, has started 2012 strong, sitting at 9-3 with wins over ACC teams NC State and Virginia Tech. Sisters Ana and Alex Bara, and Josefin Hjertquist have spend the bulk of the season in the top half of the VCU lineup. The Deacons faced several matchups with VCU players during the fall season and fared well, posting a 7-2 combined singles and doubles record against them. Despite their close geographic proximity, Wake Forest and VCU have met on only three previous occasions with the Demon Deacons holding a 2-1 advantage.

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