March 23, 2014
The Pitt tennis team (4-7, 0-7 ACC) fell, 7-0, to No. 6 Virginia on the road Sunday afternoon at the Boar’s Head Sports Club.
In doubles, courts two and three decided the point for Virginia as the Cavaliers’ Danielle Collins and Maci Epstein defeated Lolade Ogungbesan and Amanda Wickman 8-3. Court three is where the point was decided with Pitt’s Molly Wickman and Jocelyn Lu falling 8-7 (7-4) in a battle for the upperclassmen. On court one Audrey Ann Blakely and Taylor Washington faced Stephanie Nauta and Rachel Pierson, but play was left incomplete in a tight match at 7-6 when the point was decided.
“Taylor and Audrey Ann had a rough start in doubles but they were able to believe in themselves, fight back, and place themselves in a position to win the match,” said head coach Alex Santos. “Jocelyn and Molly ended up losing in a very close tiebreak. We had to do a better job when we were serving to close the match.”
The Panthers succumbed to Virginia’s talent at singles with a 6-0 sweep as three of their six players are ranked in the top 70. Court six wrapped up play first as Lu dropped a 6-1, 6-1 decision to Marie Faure of Virginia. On court four, junior Katherine Castro also fell 6-1, 6-1 to Epstein and the match was secured for the Cavaliers on court two as 47th-ranked Stephanie Nauta defeated Washington for Pitt, 6-2, 6-1.
Senior Kimmy Borza was defeated by Caryssa Peretz next at No. 5, 6-0, 6-2. Ranked at No. 86, Pitt’s Blakely fell to No. 67-ranked Collins, 6-3, 6-2; and the match wrapped up at No. 3 as Ogungbesan fell in a competitive match to 55th-ranked Rachel Pierson, 6-3, 6-4.
“I am very proud of Lolade,” continued Santos. “This weekend she played with an energy and a fire that I haven't seen from her before and ultimately showed some of her best tennis. Overall I feel that we need to keep growing in terms of playing on our terms and understanding that every single player, even those in great programs, have weaknesses that can be exposed.”
Pitt returns to action on Friday, March 28 when the Panthers host No. 10 North Carolina for a 2 p.m. match at Alpha Tennis and Fitness. They round out the weekend by hosting No. 1 Duke on Sunday at 10 a.m., also at Alpha. Admission is free to the public.
1. Nauta/Pierson (UVa) vs. Washington/Blakely (PITT) 7-6 (Unfinished)
2. Collins/Epstein (UVa) def. A.Wickman/Ogungbesan (PITT) 8-3
3. Peretz/Faure (UVa) def. M.Wickman/Lu (PITT) 8-7 (7-4)
Order of Finish: 2, 3
1. #67 Danielle Collins (UVa) def. #86 Audrey Ann Blakely (PITT) 6-3, 6-2
2. #47 Stephanie Nauta (UVa) def. Taylor Washington (PITT) 6-2, 6-1
3. #55 Rachel Pierson (UVa) def. Lolade Ogungbesan (PITT) 6-3, 6-4
4. Maci Epstein (UVa) def. Katherine Castro (PITT) 6-1 ,6-1
5. Caryssa Peretz (UVa) def. Kimmy Borza (PITT) 6-0, 6-2
6. Marie Faure (UVa) def. Jocelyn Lu (PITT) 6-1, 6-1
Order of Finish: 6, 4, 2, 5, 1, 3