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Saturday, Feb 16, 2019 at 1:46 am

Syracuse Snaps Skid with Win Against Colorado

By Brad Klein

CitrusTV Tennis Beat Reporter

No. 19 Syracuse (5-4, 0-2 Atlantic Coast) snapped its 4-match skid with a 6-1 duel victory against unranked Colorado (4-4, 0-0 PAC 12) on Friday at Drumlins Country Club. The Orange won the doubles point for the first time in its last fix duel matches, but they had some help.

Colorado’s Annabelle Andrinopoulos was a game-day scratch due to an ankle injury. CU was then forced to forfeit a singles match and a doubles match. So, they limped into the doubles section down 1-0 before a single match had even started.

“We didn’t know anything about their injury until we got here,” Head Coach Younes Limam said after the win. “I’m extremely proud of the way our team handled the situation because you can either think ‘OK, we ‘re up’, or you can always put a little extra pressure on yourself.”

The Orange would eventually clinch the doubles point on Dina Hegab and Guzal Yusupova’s 6-2 victory.

Even though Colorado was working with only five players, it gave Syracuse a run for their money in singles. Boulder forced four of the five singles matches beyond the second set. Junior Miranda Ramirez referred back to the game plan when Colorado challenged her.

“We had to, as always, play our game, play aggressive, do the things we wanted to correct during previous matches,” Ramirez said. “I think during the match we did a good job adjusting throughout. I think we did really well. We had to not think about the ones that are ahead. We had to think of it as ‘We have our match to play’.”

Senior Libi Mesh continued her success on the fifth singles court. She defeated Colorado’s Ky Ecton in straight sets 6-0, 6-2. Coach Limam says that her experience has been one of the many reasons he felt comfortable going to her when Sonya Trescheva went down with an ankle injury. After the match, Mesh attributed her victory to patience. She controlled the tempo by forcing Ecton to the baseline on lob shots. Mesh eventually received opportunities to put Ecton away. 

Guzal Yusupova and Sofya Golubovskaya both sat out their singles matches today for rest, healing minor injuries. This opened up a spot on Limam’s lineup card for Maria Tritou. Tritou has been replacing Trescheva alongside Golubovskaya on the doubles court for the past few duel matches. Her narrow loss to Colorado’s Megan Forster (2-6, 6-3, 6-3) was her first singles match of the year. 

Much of the focus was on the first singles court, where Freshman Sarah Nayar was playing up from second singles. She too challenged Knutson. But ultimately, the Syracuse senior was too much for her to handle.

That was Knutson’s 160th career victory, good for third on SU’s all-time wins list. She is only one victory away from tying Erica O’Neill, who won 161 matches from 1992 through 1995 for the Orange.

Knutson will have a chance to tie O’Neill this Sunday against Harvard.

bwklein@syr.edu | @BradKlein15