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Sunday, Apr 09, 2017 at 6:05 pm

Tennis triumphs over Miami in 4-3 victory

By Luke McGrath

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A battle of determination and mental toughness captivated the crowd Sunday at Drumlins Country Club.

It didn’t even have any effect on the final outcome of Syracuse’s win over Miami.

Number one seeds Miranda Ramirez and Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Hurricanes squared off on the main court, determined to take home a point for their squad.

The match between the two freshmen went three sets, and by the time it was settled, Syracuse had already clinched the 4-3 victory.

But that didn’t matter to the players fighting for pride and individual national rankings.

Syracuse’s Ramirez won the first set in completely dominating fashion, and she didn’t surrender a single game to Perez-Somarriba.

In the second set, Ramirez, who ranks 76th individually in the country, once again built herself a lead. She was up 5-3, but Perez-Somarriba simply would not go away.

The set eventually went to a tiebreaker, where Perez-Somarriba overcame multiple match points to take the set and continue the contest.

Perez-Somarriba, who ranks 42nd in the country, had the momentum, but that didn’t stop Ramirez from continuing to battle. The third set was a back and forth seesaw.

In the final set, Perez-Somarriba led 3-4, 4-3 and 5-4. With Ramirez finding herself two points away from losing a match she had had complete control over, a golden opportunity presented itself: Perez-Somarriba barely got a defensive shot over the net that floated into the perfect spot for Ramirez to strike. Her downward slam from just a foot behind the net hit the very top of the net in an almost impossible stroke of bad luck.

Perez-Somarriba won the next point to win the match in a display of perseverance that is not very often seen.

“Yeah, I’m not really sure what happened there, it should have been my point, but I mean it just didn’t happen today, just have to move on,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez has now lost two singles matches in a row after her 12 game winning streak before the two defeats.

Ramirez’s coach Younes Liman said he was proud of the way his number one seed performed.

“I guarantee you she will be better from this match,” Liman said.

Ramirez played solid tennis Sunday: she won her doubles match with her partner Gabriela Knutson, which proved to be the deciding factor in Sunday’s 4-3 win over the Hurricanes.

“For an hour and 45 minutes she did exactly what she was supposed to do,” Liman said. “Sometimes you come up a little bit short [but it has] a lot more to do with what her opponent did than her not doing what she was supposed to.”

Next up for the Orange is an ACC matchup against Virginia Tech on Thursday at 11 AM.