Syracuse Cruises Past Virginia Tech for 6-1 Win
By Brad Klein
CitrusTV Tennis Beat Reporter
Syracuse Tennis returned to Drumlins Country Club for the first time since February 17th to face ACC rival Virginia Tech. The Orange are coming off a four-match road trip where SU won three matches.
Syracuse (10-5, 3-3 Atlantic Coast) defeated Virginia Tech (7-8, 1-5 ACC) 6-1 Friday afternoon as part of its best stretch of the season. SU has now won six of their last seven. Despite their hot streak, the Orange possess their lowest ranking of the season: No. 32.
“We are more worried about the ranking in May,” Head Coach Younes Limam said.
The Orange truly took Limam’s message to heart on the Ides of March. SU won the doubles point to start their afternoon as they have done in each of their wins but one. Dina Hegab and Guzal Yusupova set the tone with a win early on, which Miranda Ramirez and Gabriela Knutson followed by winning a tiebreak to take their set 7-6.
Ramirez translated her success to the singles court. She made quick work of Elizabet Danailova in straight sets 6-1, 6-2. She has truly been one of the great stories as Ramirez went just 11-12 in singles last spring to 10-4 so far this year.
After that, Libi Mesh won her singles match 6-1, 6-4, reminding Coach Limam why she deserves to keep her roster spot. She started playing in place of Sonya Trescheva after she went down with an ankle injury.
Guzal Yusupova eventually clinched the duel victory for SU with a 6-2, 6-3 victory.
Despite the quick victory, all eyes were on the first singles court between Gabriela Knutson and her longtime friend Natalie Novotna. The two played against each other in the Czech Republic before coming over to America to play ACC tennis. More recently, Knutson and Novotna had split their two prior matches.
Thus, today was a unique test as both players have become familiar with each other’s play emotionally and tactically. When asked to describe Novotna’s game, Knutson said, “Mine”. Nevertheless, Knutson defeated Novotna in a pro set to cap off the day for the Orange.
Virginia Tech’s Samantha Gillis scored the lone point for the Hokies with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Dina Hegab.
SU doesn’t have much time to rest as they hit the road for Winston-Salem, where they will face Wake Forest on Sunday at 10 a.m.
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