Syracuse Falls to Penn State 5-2
By Philip Galati IV | @PhilipGalati4
SYRACUSE, NY – SU Tennis’ unbeaten run comes to end at the third dual. Penn State merged victorious over the Orange at Drumlins on Sunday by a score of 5-2.
“It was a tough day today,” said Head Coach Younes Limam. “Not the result that we wanted or expected, but credit to Penn State. I thought they did a really good job with their doubles and using that momentum for the singles.”
The dual got off to a quick start courtesy of Viktoria Kanapatskaya and Ines Fonte, who didn’t drop a single game in a 6-0 win. The other doubles games, however, would be a different story.
Sofya Trescheva and Polina Kozyreva struggled to win points in a 6-2 loss. Meanwhile on Court #1, the freshmen pair of Shiori Ito and Miyuka Kimoto got the call to play in the top doubles seed.
A valiant effort by the duo was held back by costly points at the net, as SU dropped their first doubles point of the season and found themselves behind at the break for the first time this Spring.
The singles slate started off well, but just like the doubles matches, quickly went downhill for the Orange. Kozyreva opened the afternoon by making quick work of Deanna Lasorda on Court 5, 6-1, 6-0, to tie up the dual.
Shortly after, Trescheva and Kimoto bowed out. The two only combined for 4 games across 4 sets in their respective matches. Viktoria Kanapatskaya couldn’t hold off Sofiya Chekhlystova and the Nittany Lions sealed the win.
That, however, was far from the end of the afternoon. Almost an hour after every other game had wrapped up, two players were still battling it out. Shiori Ito dropped her first set, but climbed all the way back to win 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
“[Shiori] played an opponent…that sliced her forehand,” said Limam, “not a lot of opponents do that…and she needed to adjust to that. It took her a little bit of time, but once she got going, her strategy was to start coming in on the forehead and expect an overhead…It’s really neat to see her come through and win a match and build her momentum and confidence for the upcoming matches.”
At the same time, Ines Fonte was in a marathon of a match. After leading 6-5 in the opening set, she lost it in a tiebreak to Penn State’s Alexandra Nielsen 7-6 (7-3). Not giving up, Fonte rallied in the second set with another tiebreaker and won 7-6 (7-0). The third and final tiebreak was emphatically won by Nielsen, taking the last point in the dual 10-3.
After back-to-back matches, the Orange get a week of rest before taking on Cornell next Sunday. The Big Red have yet to feature on the court during Spring 2022. Follow along @CitrusTVSports from 11 am onwards for live courtside tweets all dual long.