Injuries Plague Syracuse In 6-1 Loss at No. 7 NC State
By Sam Reis | @SamuelReisTV
Citrus TV Tennis Beat Reporter
RALEIGH, N.C. – On a beautiful 70° afternoon at J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center, even a change of scenery could not help Syracuse. In SU’s first outdoor match of the season, NC State started off well in doubles and never looked back.
Injuries were a notable storyline for the Orange as they had to forfeit a doubles match and two singles players had to retire from their matches. Nonetheless, No. 7 NC State (15-2, 7-1 Atlantic Coast) dominated in the matches that were played out, taking down Syracuse (11-6, 4-6 Atlantic Coast) 6-1. The result marked the fifth consecutive loss for SU, losing all five matches by the same scoreline.
To start the match, Syracuse was already at a disadvantage, forfeiting No. 3 doubles. After suffering an ankle injury last weekend against Duke, head coach Younes Limam was apparently not ready to play Ines Fonte in both doubles and singles today. That meant Syracuse came into doubles knowing it had to win both matches to earn the doubles point. Those hopes were put to bed when the 19th-ranked duo of Amelia Rajecki and Nell Miller took care of Viktoriya Kanapatskaya and Shiori Ito, 6-3.
While Miyuka Kimoto and Polina Kozyreva showed promise in the other doubles match, their efforts were halted with a 4-3 lead over Abigail Rencheli and Alana Smith. That match was left unfinished since the doubles point was already decided.
In singles, NC State got off to early leads on nearly every court in the opening set. Unfortunately, the first match to conclude was due to a forfeit in No. 2 singles. After dropping the first set 6-1 to No. 24 Amelia Rajecki, Viktoriya Kanapatskaya retired from the match.
Moments after Kanpatskaya retired from her match, things went from bad to worse for Syracuse. That is because in No. 6 singles, Ines Fonte also retired from her match. After winning the first set 6-2, Nell Miller won the first two games of the second set before Fonte pulled the plug. Despite giving it a go, the ankle injury that Fonte suffered last weekend clearly still lingered throughout her match today.
Those forfeits quickly put NC State just one singles win away from clinching the dual. The Wolfpack pounced on the opportunity. In No. 1 singles, No. 9 Alana Smith wasted no time in a 6-0, 6-2 triumph over No. 95 Zeynep Erman. That win clinched the victory for NC State.
With three matches still on court, No. 5 singles was the next match to wrap up. That is where Anna Zyryanova survived a second-set push from Ito Shiori, winning 6-1, 6-4. The Wolfpack further extended their lead when No. 58 Abigail Rencheli closed out the second set comfortably in a 6-4, 6-1 win over Miyuka Kimoto.
In the last match remaining, the Orange avoided a shutout thanks to Polina Kozyreva. The senior notched her 14th singles win of the season, taking down Gina Dittmann 6-4, 6-4.
With the loss, Syracuse sits two games below .500 in the ACC as the conference tournament approaches. SU remains in North Carolina to finish a weekend road trip against Wake Forest on Sunday at noon.