|Charlotte drops spring opener to Spartans|
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Charlotte women's tennis battled through a cold and windy afternoon in its spring opener Friday but the 49ers were unable to overcome USC Upstate in losing a 5-2 decision at the USC Upstate Tennis Complex in Spartanburg, S.C.
The Niners picked up a pair of singles victories for their two points, while nearly stealing the doubles point away from the host Spartans.
In doubles, the two teams split the first two matches before the point was decided in tiebreaking fashion during the top position contest. Charlotte (2-1) had the momentum leading into the clinching match, as the No. 2 pair of Natsuko Takayanagi and Alexandra Zinn handed Constanze Kuerten and Talia Rojas an 8-5 setback.
The top Niners tandem of Anna Ekelund and Lisa Grosselius, unfortunately, was not able to capitalize and fell 9-8 (5) to Julie Bell and Taylor Cohen to give USC Upstate (2-1) the early 1-0 lead.
Singles play saw half of the meetings reach the full three sets, as the players battled the wind all afternoon.
Following a quick win for the Spartans to pull ahead 2-0, Iveta Guneva closed the gap with her 6-4, 6-4 victory against Upstate's Sarah Vande Berg at the No. 6 slot.
USC Upstate would then clinch the overall match win with triumphs in the next two finishing singles matches. However, the 49ers refused to quit, and Takayanagi used all three sets to knock off Isabel von Stryk 6-4, 0-6, 6-3 in the No. 2 tilt.
The Spartans then sealed the final score with another three-set decision.
Charlotte will look to bounce back from its first loss of the campaign when it opens the home slate at 1 p.m. Saturday by playing host to Campbell as part of Homecoming weekend on campus. Admission is free at the on-campus Halton-Wagner Tennis Complex.
USC Upstate 5, Charlotte 2
No. 1 Taylor Cohen (UPST) def. Alexandra Zinn (CHA) 6-2, 6-1
No. 2 Natsuko Takayanagi (CHA) def. Isabel von Stryk (UPST) 6-4, 0-6, 6-3
No. 3 Constanze Kuerten (UPST) def. Lisa Grosselius (CHA) 6-0, 7-6 (12-10)
No. 4 Talia Rojas (UPST) def. Tyler Baker (CHA) 5-7, 6-3, 6-0
No. 5 Julie Bell (UPST) def. Anna Ekelund (CHA) 7-6, 0-6, 6-4
No. 6 Iveta Guneva (CHA) def. Sarah Vande Berg (UPST) 6-4, 6-4
No. 1 Bell/Cohen (UPST) def. Ekelund/Grosselius (CHA) 9-8 (5)
No. 2 Takayanagi/Zinn (CHA) def. Kuerten/Rojas (UPST) 8-5
No. 3 Vande Berg/von Stryk (UPST) def. Baker/Jessica Pérez (CHA) 8-5