Feb. 1, 2014
PITTSBURGH - The Pitt tennis team earned a commanding win in their spring opener on Saturday with a 7-0 sweep over Morehead State at Alpha Tennis and Fitness.
"It's always great to start the season off with a win," said head coach Alex Santos, who recorded his first career win at Pitt. "I think we were put in a tough position competing against a quality team that already had three solid matches under their belt. We talked about creating a strong foundation for the program going forward, and as a coaching staff we think the girls were able to come out with great poise and energy. I believe that our preparation and attention to detail leading up to today has been strong and it allowed us to play the big points very well. Today was definitely a strong team effort and we are looking forward to our next home match against Youngstown State on Friday."
Prior to singles even starting, Pitt took a 2-0 lead after winning the doubles point and the Eagles forfeiting a singles point.
In doubles, Pitt's team of Amanda Wickman and Audrey Ann Blakely had a dominating performance with a 6-1 victory over Andrea LeBlanc and Hayley Wild. The Panthers' Taylor Washington and Jocelyn Lusuffered a 6-4 loss to Briar Preston and Sandrine Beaule of Morehead State but since the Eagles also forfeited their third doubles match, Pitt earned the doubles point.
The most competitive matchup of the day came in No. 1 singles as Washington and Preston went back-and-forth all day, resulting in a 5-7, 6-2, 10-8 victory for Washington. The Pitt senior lost the first set and was down in the tie-breaker, but battled back for the hard-fought victory. Preston was ranked in the top 100 world junior ranking prior to coming to college and suffered her first loss of the season to Washington.
Pitt rolled through each of their other singles matches, winning each in two sets. In No. 2 singles, Blakely earned a 6-4, 6-1 victory over LeBlanc.
In No. 3 singles, Lolade Ogunbesan was impressive in her match against McLean recording a 6-2, 6-3 victory, while Katherine Castro's 6-1, 6-1 win over Beaule at No. 4 was the quickest match of the day. On No. 5, Amanda Wickmanwrapped up scoring with a strong 6-4, 6-2 victory over Wild.
Pitt (1-0) returns to action on Friday, Feb. 7 as it hosts Youngstown State at 2 p.m., at Alpha Tennis and Fitness.