|Freshmen duo win three-set decisions on Senior Day|
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte women’s tennis earned a pair of three-set victories in singles action, both by freshmen, but unfortunately for the 49ers they came after East Carolina had already clinched a 4-3 win Saturday afternoon. The Conference USA meeting marked the regular-season finale for both programs.
“I’m proud of the determination and heart with which we played today,” head coach Michaela Gorman said. “I thought we worked hard all afternoon and had our opportunities in some matches. I’m proud of the effort of this group heading into next week’s conference tournament and feel like we’re definitely heading in the right direction.”
Rookie Victoria Pahlett earned her second-straight triumph, holding off the Pirates’ top player, Melis Tanik, in a 6-4, 4-6, 10-4 battle at the No. 1 position. Tanik entered the contest with an East Carolina (12-10, 1-1 C-USA) best 21 singles wins in 2013-14.
Pahlett’s classmate, Macy Vonderschmidt, who was the March 25 Conference USA Athlete of the Week, did not let an opening-set loss derail her from posting a come-from-behind 2-6, 7-5, 10-8 victory against Maria Storozheva at the No. 3 slot. The win was Vonderschmidt’s 10th of the campaign, extending her team-high spring total.
Junior Lisa Grosselius also reached 10 triumphs during the year, becoming the third overall Charlotte (7-12, 0-3 C-USA) player to accomplish the feat, with her 6-2, 6-2 handling of Michelle Castro at the No. 2 spot.
The Pirates opened the day by winning the No. 1 and 3 doubles matches to earn the early point, which would prove to be the difference between the two in-state foes.
With the regular season now complete, the Niners will await word from Conference USA on their first opponent in the league tournament, which begins Wednesday at Old Dominion in Norfolk, Va. All 16 conference schools will participate in the single-elimination bracket, with the top-four seeds receiving a double bye and seeds five through eight earning an opening-round bye.
East Carolina 4, Charlotte 3
No. 1 Victoria Pahlett (CHA) def. Melis Tanik (ECU) 6-4, 4-6, 10-4
No. 2 Lisa Grosselius (CHA) def. Michelle Castro (ECU) 6-2, 6-2
No. 3 Macy Vonderschmidt (CHA) def. Maria Storozheva (ECU) 2-6, 7-5, 10-8
No. 4 Emily Groeneveld (ECU) def. Natsuko Takayanagi (CHA) 6-2, 6-3
No. 5 Nicole LaDuca (ECU) def. Tyler Baker (CHA) 6-2, 6-3
No. 6 Dana Gray (ECU) def. Jessica Pérez (CHA) 7-5, 6-2
No. 1 Gray/Storozheva (ECU) def. Grosselius/Takayanagi (CHA) 8-2
No. 2 Pahlett/Vonderschmidt (CHA) vs. Castro/LaDuca (ECU) DNF
No. 3 Groeneveld/Tanik (ECU) def. Baker/Pérez (CHA) 8-1