Syracuse Shows Fight But Falls Short Again in 5-2 Defeat to Wake Forest
By Sam Reis | @SamuelReisTV
Citrus TV Tennis Beat Reporter
WINSTON SALEM, N.C. – Successive singles wins from Shiori Ito and Ines Fonte put Syracuse right back into the match. However, it was only false hope as Wake Forest managed to close things out in what was a competitive dual.
There were no forfeits this time around as Syracuse showed fight in a valiant comeback effort to close out a weekend road trip in North Carolina. However, the Demon Deacons (13-9, 4-5 Atlantic Coast) handed the Orange (11-7, 4-7 Atlantic Coast) their sixth consecutive loss with a 5-2 win.
In doubles, Wake Forest had no issues. The No. 1 doubles pairing of 26th ranked Anna Brylin and Brooke Killingsworth cruised past Zeynep Erman and Ines Fonte, 6-1. Moments after that match concluded, Nevena Carton and Whitley Pate defeated Polina Kozyreva and Miyuka Kimoto 6-2 in No. 3 doubles. That clinched the doubles point as No. 2 doubles was left unfinished with the Demon Deacons duo of Mia Ahmad and Casie Wooten leading Shiori Ito and Viktoriya Kanapatskaya 4-3.
Early on in singles, another sluggish start from Syracuse suggested it would be a similar story to the last few matches. That was especially the case when No. 41 Casie Wooten completely dominated No. 95 Zeynep Erman in a 6-0, 6-0 win to extend the Wake Forest lead to 2-0.
However, the Orange managed to settle in, particularly in the lower flight matches. Following five singles losses in a row, Shiori Ito had her most impressive performance of the season. The sophomore took down Whitley Pate 6-1, 6-0.
In No. 6 singles, Ines Fonte had quite the showing after battling through an ankle injury the last few weeks. The junior beat Maddie Lynch 6-3, 6-2 to tie the dual up at 2-2 and put SU right back into the match.
In No. 4 singles, Nevena Carton and Polina Kozyreva played out two very hard fought sets. Carton did just enough in both of them to prevail 7-5, 6-4. That win put WF back in the lead.
The last two matches remaining on court both went to a decisive third set. In No. 2 singles, Anna Brylin dominated the first set against Miyuka Kimoto. Kimoto then flipped the script with a strong second set. In the end, No. 52 Anna Brylin regained control of the match and closed out the third set with relative ease, winning by a final score of 6-1, 2-6, 6-2. That is what ultimately clinched the dual for Wake Forest.
The last match left in No. 3 singles was played out between Brooke Killingsworth and Viktoriya Kanapatskaya. Despite the result of the match not impacting the result of the overall dual, the third set was an epic one. Kanapatskaya was so close to the finish line, leading the final set 5-3. That is when Killingsworth turned things around, winning the last four games for the comeback victory 3-6, 6-0, 7-5.
Despite the strongest showing during a rough stretch for Syracuse, the loss makes it six defeats in a row. The Orange have time to recover with no matches scheduled for next weekend. Next up is a trip to South Bend on Friday, April 14th when SU faces Notre Dame in the penultimate contest of the regular season at 3:30.