Seahawks Bottle Up Bucs, 4-3, In Women’s Tennis
WILMINGTON, NC March 10, 2013 – Junior Kelly Cameron outlasted East Tennessee State’s Anna Gerbasi in a tie-breaker at No. 3 singles to clinch a 4-3 victory for the UNCW women’s tennis team over the Bucs early Sunday at the UNCW courts.
The Seahawks improved to 7-5 with their third win in four matches. The Bucs dipped to 4-3 this spring.
With the score deadlocked at 3-all, Cameron, from Hilton Head Island, S.C., dropped the first set before battling back to stun the Bucs. After Gerbasi won the opening set, 6-4, Cameron took the second set, 7-5, and then prevailed 7-6 (8-6) in the tie-breaker to set off a celebration on the UNCW courts.
“I could not be prouder of our team today with the way we fought,” said first-year UNCW Head Coach Evan Clark. “We’ve had a rough schedule over the last week and the way we continued to fight and leave everything on the court was unbelievable.
“We have been close a lot this year with very good teams and to get over the hump in a tough match feels very good. It was a good day for college tennis down to the last ball in over a five-hour match.
“Give credit to ETSU. They are a very good, well-coached team and they gave us all we could handle. I knew they will have a great year.”
ETSU won the doubles point to get an early upper hand in the match before the Seahawks claimed wins at No. 1, 3, 5 and 6 to pull out the non-conference victory.
On top 1-0 after doubles play, the Bucs tacked on victories at No. 4 and No. 2 singles to get to the brink of clinching the match, 3-0. But the Seahawks wouldn’t be denied as Sekely whipped Antonia Kolovou, 6-4, 6-1, at the top of the lineup and Alyssa Ritchie breezed past Sofia Espana, 6-0, 6-1, at No. 5 singles to narrow the deficit to 3-2.
Freshman Christine Kharkevich then tied the match at 3-all by rallying from behind for a 5-7, 6-1, 6-0 decision over Salma Dahbi at No. 6 singles, setting up Cameron’s heroics.
“I can’t say enough about Kelly,” Clark continued. “She has worked so hard and it’s really rewarding to see that hard work pay off. She was incredibly tough during the entire match.”
The Seahawks wrap up a two-match home stand on Thursday with an 11 a.m. test against state rival and 65th-ranked Appalachian State.
“We’re really relieved to get through this very difficult schedule. We will get back to work, though, and get ready for a ranked Appalachian State squad.”