Weekend Recap: UAlbany Defeats URI as Lopez Wins Two in Singles
Photo: Rocio Lopez (above) is off to a scorching hot 7-1 start in singles play.
ALBANY, N.Y. – The University at women’s tennis team improved to 3-5 after defeating the University of Rhode Island, 5-2, at SPORTIME in Schenectady, N.Y. on Sunday, March 3. UAlbany played two matches this weekend, dropping their first on Saturday, 6-1, to an undefeated Cornell squad. Junior Rocio Lopez continues to the lead the Great Danes, improving to 7-1 on the season.
CORNELL: The Big Red improved to 5-0 on the season after two home wins, one against UAlbany. Cornell has proved to be a powerhouse in women’s tennis this year. The Great Danes took the only weekend point against the Big Red, who won a combined 14-1 over the two matches.
Lopez recorded the only win in Ithaca. She defeated Big Red’s No. 1 singles player, Sarah O'Neil, 6-4, 3-6 (10-4). Since joining the team midway through last season, the Georgia Tech transfer is now 19-6 in singles play. Kirsten Scott played a close match at the No. 3 singles spot, she was defeated by Dena Tanenbaum, 6-2, 7-5.
In doubles play, Lopez and Scott rejoined at the No.1 position after the duo had a two week absence due to Scott’s injury. They played the most competitive match for the Great Danes, losing to O’Neil and her teammate Lauren Frazier, 8-5.
The match was clinched at the No. 4 singles spot when freshman Mireille Hermans was defeated by Cornell’s Laila Judeh, 6-2, 6-1.
RHODE ISLAND: UAlbany (3-5) rebounded on Sunday for a decisive win over the Rams. Last season, Rhode Island defeated the Great Danes, 6-1. The top four singles players all took home wins for UAlbany including Hermans who recorded her first career collegiate win.
In doubles play, the No. 1 and No. 2 team’s from UAlbany won, combining, 16-3. Lopez and Scott took home the match’s first win, 8-2, at the No. 1 position. They defeated Galina Chernykh and Kathleen Uy. Shortly after, Hermans and teammate Irene Santos took their match, 8-1, over Nithila Asokaraj and Karolina Wojciak.
The Rams quickly fired back in singles play, winning both the No. 5 and No. 6 matches to take a 2-1 lead. However, from that point, UAlbany’s top singles players took control. They swept the rest of the match, Santos was the only Great Dane to win in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4.
Both Scott and Lopez started off slow, losing their first sets 6-7 (4) and 0-6, respectively. However, the two veteran leaders stepped up, easily taking the next two sets. Lopez defeated Chernykh in the next two sets, 6-0, 6-1. Scott’s was a little closer, as she defeated Asokaraj in the following sets, 6-4, 6-2.
Scott’s win put the Great Danes back ahead, 3-2. Hermans followed with the match clincher, she defeated Wojciak in three sets, 6-0, 4-6, 6-2.
“This was a good 'team' victory today. We had several people step up in crunch time and pull out crucial wins for the team,” said head coach Gordon Graham. “There was a point in the match at which we were definitely in a hole with the real possibility of losing match. Kirsten [Scott] , Mireille [Hermans] and Rocio [Lopez] all stepped up for three set wins. It was an exciting match and a big confidence booster to help propel us forward.”
Next up for UAlbany is a home doubleheader. First, the Great Danes take on crosstown rival Siena at Sportime. Match time is set for 9 a.m. Following, UAlbany open’s up conference play against Hartford at Tri-City Fitness in Latham, N.Y. Match time is set for 7 p.m.
CORNELL 6, UALBANY 1
Saturday; at Reis Tennis Center; Ithaca, N.Y.
1. O'Neil/Frazier (C) def. Lopez/Scott, 8-5
2. Ordway/Ryann Young (C) def. Hermans/Santos, 8-4
3. Christy Kung/Tanenbaum (C) def. Iannone/White, 8-2
Order of finish: 3,2,1
**Clinched doubles point for Cornell
1. Rocio Lopez (UA) def. Sarah O'Neil, 6-4, 3-6, (10-4)
2. Christine Ordway (C) def. Irene Santos, 6-2, 6-0
3. Dena Tanenbaum (C) def. Kirsten Scott, 6-2, 7-5
4. Laila Judeh (C) def. Mireille Hermans, 6-2, 6-1 $$
5. Lauren Frazier (C) def. Sarah Iannone, 6-2, 6-1
6. Sara Perelman (C) def. Fran White, 6-0, 6-0
Order of finish: 6, 5, 4, 2, 1, 3
$$=Clinched match for Cornell.
UALBANY 5, RHODE ISLAND 2
Sunday; at Sportime; Schenectady, N.Y.
1. Lopez-Scott (UA) def. Chernykh-Uy (URI) 8-2
2. Santos-Hermans (UA) def. Asokaraj-Wojciak (URI) 8-1**
3. Sadovnikova-Benoit (URI) def. Iannone-White (UA) 8-7(4)
Order of finish: 1,2,3
**Clinched doubles point for UAlbany
1. Rocio Lopez (UA) def. Galina Chernykh (URI) 6-7(4), 6-0,6-1
2. Irene Santos (UA) def. Kathleen Uy (URI) 7-5,6-4
3. Kirsten Scott (UA) def. Nithila Asokaraj (URI) 0-6,6-3,6-4
4. Mireille Hermans (UA) def. Karolina Wojciak (URI) 6-0,4-6,6-2 $$
5. Elizaveta Sadovnikova (URI) def. Sarah Iannone (UA) 6-2,6-4
6. Lauren Benoit (URI) def. Fran White (UA) 6-3,6-2
Order of finish: 6,5,2,3,4,1
$$=Clinched match for UAlbany.