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Sunday, Feb 18, 2018 at 4:37 pm

SU Tennis Dispatches Yale 6-0

By Gill Gross

A match is rarely as easy as it seems. Such was the case for SU’s Miranda Ramirez in her match against Yale’s Samantha Martinelli.

Ramirez looked in the clear after a 6-1 first-set win, but Martinelli stormed back in the second set. Her ultra-aggressive style paid dividends against a defensive Ramirez. But defensive Ramirez didn’t last long. The sophomore took matters into her own hands in the third set to seal a 6-1, 2-6, 6-3 victory.

It was part of a 6-0 victory for Syracuse over Yale on Sunday afternoon at Drumlins Country Club. The Orange improved to 6-1 on the season and preserved its undefeated home record.

“As soon as the second set was over I was able to realize what was happening and turn it around from there,” Ramirez said, “I was playing more aggressive myself and playing my game. And then that’s when she started to slow down a little bit and I was able to take control.”

Ramirez wasn’t the only player to experienced adversity on Sunday. Sofya Golubovskya labored through her first set with Valerie Shklover, Yale’s second-singles player. Shklover used her speed and remained consistent. Golubovskya struggled to finish points as her confidence waned. But the Russian never imploded.

“My coach always reminds me ‘breath, just calm down, you got this,’” Golubovskya said. “I think if you’re rushing you just need to turn around and just calm down… next point, it’s a new point, let’s go.”

Golubovskya found her A-game in a 6-2 second set win. It was Golubovskya’s third-consecutive match victory at second singles, despite being third on SU’s singles depth chart.

The trend of adversity continued on court one, where Nicole Mitchell looked doomed to drop her second set, down 5-1, after taking the 1st 6-2. But Mitchell came back to win six consecutive games. The captain’s 6-2, 7-5, win came in her third match of the season.

Anna Shkudun and Libbi Mesh both enjoyed straight-set victories. Yale played the match with five players. The Bulldog’s only traveled with six players and one fell ill, watching from the sidelines on Sunday. That forced Yale to forfeit a doubles match, clearing the way for Gabriela Knutson/Ramirez and Golubovskya/Shkudun to sweep doubles with a pair of 6-3 victories.

Knutson, who has been battling shoulder pain for weeks now, played doubles but was pulled out of singles.

“I think (Knutson) is 100 percent now,” Limam said, “It’s a long season so we’re trying to be smart about how we manage her shoulder throughout the season.”

With Knutson’s withdrawal, SU was forced to slide everyone down one singles spot. Only one lineup change is allowed in Division I tennis, but Limam opted to insert Nicole Mitchell at fifth singles instead of Dina Hegab. Because two lineup changes were made between singles and doubles, the Orange had to forfeit 6th singles, hence the 6-0 final score.

Syracuse is already 2-0 against Ivy League opponents and two more await next weekend. The Orange begins a five-match road trip with trips to Brown and Harvard.