Syracuse Pulls Off Incredible Comeback, Upsets No. 8 NC State

Friday, Mar 15, 2024 at 9:05 pm by Sports Editor

Josh Richardson | @joshrichy_04

Syracuse Tennis Head Coach Younes Limam has always been quick to say that “doubles is a sprint, but singles is a marathon.” Today’s match from start to finish was as difficult and grueling as an Iron Man. SU trailed 0-3 after doubles, #5 singles, and #6 singles, yet displayed heart, courage, and resilience to come back and beat 8th Ranked NC State 4-3. The Wolfpack entered 13-3 on the season with losses to 2nd-ranked Michigan (twice) and 21st-ranked Oklahoma. 

From the beginning, it looked like NC State was driving on Cruise Control. The Wolfpack took #2 and #3 doubles 6-0 and 6-3 respectively. From there, the Pack extended their lead to 3-0 with singles wins in straight sets from Maddy Zampardo and Gina Dittmann. Facing a top 10 school trailing 0-3 is usually when schools wave the white flag, accept defeat, and begin to move forward to their next match… Not Syracuse. The Orange proceeded to storm back with two wins from Polina Kozyreva (6-3, 4-6, 6-2) and an incredible upset win for Miyuka Kimoto (7-6, 7-6). Kimoto defeated Amelia Rajecki, who came in today as the 3rd ranked singles player in the nation. 

Now trailing 2-3, it looked doable for SU to complete the comeback, but it needed a sensational performance from sophomore Anastasia Sysoeva to keep the dream alive. The transfer from Florida made her mark in a thrilling three-set win 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. Sysoeva trailed 0-4 in the final set before storming back to win six straight games. 

By then, for the second time this season, it was all up to Emilie Elde to secure the win for SU. Elde had split the first two sets 4-6, 7-6, before taking the final set 6-4. In SU’s 4-3 win over Clemson, SU had forced the score even at 3-3 before Elde, with all eyes on her, commanded court 3 and beat Eleni Louka 7-5, 1-6, 7-6. Today, the sophomore repeated her heroic efforts to clinch the second Top 10 win in program history. 

SU can enjoy this win but for so long. On Sunday, the Orange will welcome Wake Forest to Drumlins at 11. The Demon Deacons come in ranked 36th in the ITA. SU sat 51st in the ranking entering today, but undoubtedly will rise up by Tuesday’s updated rankings.

For all live updates throughout Sunday’s match, follow @joshrichy_04 on X.