Syracuse Falls to Pepperdine in First Round of ITA Championships
By Brad Klein
CitrusTV Tennis Reporter
SEATTLE, WA – No. 10 Syracuse (4-3, 0-2 Atlantic Coast) lost a nail-biter 4-3 on Friday against No. 7 Pepperdine (2-0, 0-0 West Coast) in their first-ever ITA Indoor Championship. While this is uncharted territory for the Orange, the loss seems to be the same story: doubles troubles.
Syracuse has lost the doubles point for the fourth time in a row. They are 1-3 in those duel matches. Gabriela Knutson and Miranda Ramirez lost their match 7-5 and Yusupova and Hegab lost 6-4. This time around though, the Orange were at a disadvantage from the get go. Sonya Trescheva missed the match today because of a lower leg injury, breaking up the doubles duo of her and Golubovskaya. Golubovskaya’s doubles match with Masha Tritou went unfinished.
However, Gabriela Knutson, Miranda Ramirez and Libi Mesh were bright spots for the Orange.
Knutson had lost three singles matches in a row for the first time in two years. She snapped the skid with a 6-2, 6-1 triumph over Pepperdine’s Ashley Lahey. Miranda Ramirez continued in her role as a reliable singles player on the third court. Although she dropped the first set 1-6, she came back to steal the final two 7-5, 6-4.
Senior Libi Mesh made her season debut after losing her spot on the sixth singles court to freshman Sonya Trescheva. She won a crucial singles point 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 over Pepperdine’s Dzina Milovanovic.
The duel match started with singles play due to impending weather, and these three victors, along with a Guzal Yusupova loss, guided the Orange to a 3-1 lead over Pepperdine. On the brink of victory, the Orange could not get it done. Sofya Golubovskaya and Dina Hegab both lost their singles matches. The 3-3 tie sent the match to the doubles point, where the Orange ultimate fell to the Waves.
Syracuse returns to the court against No. 16 Ohio State in the second round of the ITA Championships in Seattle on Friday Feb. 9.