No. 24 Syracuse Defeats Purdue to Clinch ITA National Team Indoor Championship Berth
By Brad Klein
CitrusTV Tennis Reporter
OXFORD, Miss.- The dual with Purdue was tied 3-3 when Dina Hegab stepped on the court to play match point Sunday afternoon. A win would punch Syracuse’s ticket to the ITA National Team Indoor Championship next month. A loss sent the Orange home with shrugged shoulders and their first loss of the season. For most players on the fifth singles court, it may have been a lot of pressure. But Hegab had been in this situation before. She defeated Alex Sabe 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 to give No. 24 Syracuse (4-0, 0-0 Atlantic Coast) the 4-3 victory over Purdue (3-1, 0-0 Big Ten) in Oxford, Mississippi.
This is the third time in just four duals that Hegab has clinched the win for Syracuse.
Hegab’s victory wiped the Orange’s memory of their first collective doubles loss of the season. Purdue’s Silvia Ambrosio and Amina Mukhametshina topped reigning All-Americans Gabriela Knutson and Miranda Ramirez 7-5 while Guzal Yusupova and Hegab lost 6-2 to Ena Babic and Zala Dovnik. Sofya Golubovskaya and Sonya Trescheva did not finish their match.
This gave Purdue a 1-0 lead early, but Syracuse would eventually dig themselves a bigger hole when Gabriela Knutson dropped her singles match in three sets 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 4-6. The doubles and Knutson on singles have been common denominators in the Orange’s success this year. But the team once again showed their depth and resilience on the singles courts.
Sofya Golubovskaya finished hours before some of her teammates with a 6-2, 6-1 straight set victory to evening the dual at first. Shortly after that, Sonya Trescheva lost her match 6-3, 6-2 on the sixth singles court, giving the advantage back to the Boilermakers.
Miranda Ramirez then came up big with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 win against Purdue’s Seira Shimizu. It seems as though Ramirez may have turned a corner while in Oxford for the ITA Kickoff Weekend. She faced some disappointment earlier in the season on the singles court, but the junior had one of her biggest wins with the upset victory over Michigan’s No. 36 Chiara Lommer on Saturday before her essential win against Shimizu today.
Guzal Yusupova followed Ramirez with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 victory of her own in the fourth singles match. Eventually, all roads lead to Dina Hegab, who once again sealed the victory for the Orange.
This victory sends Syracuse to the ITA National Team Indoor Championship for the first time in Younes Limam’s five year tenure. Championship weekend will be held February 8-11 in Seattle, Washington.
Up next, the Orange host Virginia to open up conference play on Friday at 2 p.m.
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