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Sophomore Jessica Perez helped clinch Charlotte's victory over Mercer...
Courtesy: Charlotte Sports Information
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Niners storm past Bears for third straight at home

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte claimed an early lead clinching the doubles point and never looked back, earning four match victories Wednesday afternoon to knock off Mercer 5-2 at the Halton-Wagner Tennis Complex. The overall team win was the third straight at the on-campus facility for the 49ers this spring.

“This was a great team win today,” head coach Michaela Gorman said. “Everyone worked extremely hard today and we’re excited to get the victory.”

The Niners opened with triumphs at the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles meetings, locking up the point and taking the 1-0 edge heading into singles action. The No. 2 tandem of freshman Victoria Pahlett and junior Natsuko Takayanagi needed a tiebreaker to hold off the Bears’ Amanda Bertani and Liza Klyachkin 8-7 (2).

The No. 3 contest, featuring sophomore Jessica Pérez and freshman Macy Vonderschmidt of Charlotte (4-6) against Mercer’s Natalie Franklin and Haley Powell was not nearly as close as the 49ers duo earned the 8-3 triumph.

Needing only to split the six singles matches to capture the overall team win, Charlotte proceeded to put four on its side of the column, including a pair of three-set decisions.

Junior Lisa Grosselius rallied after dropping her first set to Lucie Payrat but responded in the No. 2 slot to notch the 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory.

Franklin also put up a valiant effort for Mercer (5-7) in the No. 5 contest against Vonderschmidt, but the Niners freshman battled through to a 6-0, 3-6, 6-2 win.

The other two 49ers triumphs were in straight sets, as Takayanagi handed Powell a 6-2, 6-1 setback at the No. 3 slot, while sophomore Tyler Baker defeated Bertani 6-1, 6-2 in the No. 6 position.

Charlotte will return to action next weekend in Birmingham, Ala., starting with a 2 p.m. EST contest against Samford Friday, March 14. The next day the 49ers will meet UAB in their first regular-season Conference USA match, squaring off against the Blazers at Noon EST.

Charlotte 5, Mercer 2

No. 1 Danielle Jones (MER) def. Victoria Pahlett (CHA) 7-5, 6-3
No. 2 Lisa Grosselius (CHA) def. Lucie Payrat (MER) 1-6, 6-2, 6-3
No. 3 Natsuko Takayanagi (CHA) def. Haley Powell (MER) 6-2, 6-1
No. 4 Liza Klyachkin (MER) def. Tyler Baker (CHA) 6-1, 2-6, 6-3
No. 5 Macy Vonderschmidt (CHA) def. Natalie Franklin (MER) 6-0, 3-6, 6-2
No. 6 Jessica Pérez (CHA) def. Amanda Bertani (MER) 6-1, 6-2

No. 1 Jones/Payrat (MER) def. Baker/Grosselius (CHA) 8-0
No. 2 Pahlett/Takayanagi (CHA) def. Bertani/Klyachkin (MER) 8-7 (2)
No. 3 Pérez/Vonderschmidt (CHA) def. Franklin/Powell (MER) 8-3

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