|Senior Day caps regular season Saturday|
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte women’s tennis team will close its regular season by playing host to in-state and Conference USA foe East Carolina Saturday afternoon at the Halton-Wagner Tennis Complex. The match, slated for 1 p.m., will also serve as the program’s Senior Day with the 49ers honoring Dominica Nemec for her contributions on and off the court.
“We’re excited for our last home match of the year against a strong Conference USA team,” head coach Michaela Gorman said. “ECU is a solid team and we will have to work hard to keep our home match winning streak alive.
“We will honor Dominica tomorrow for Senior Day and would like to thank her for all of her hard work and dedication to the team over the years. We wish her great luck in the future.”
Charlotte picked up its sixth-straight victory at the on-campus facility, improving to 7-1 this spring on the courts, with Wednesday’s 4-3 triumph over North Carolina Central. The win helped the Niners push their overall ledger to 7-11 this spring, though two of the losses have come to league opponents: UAB and Middle Tennessee.
Junior Natsuko Takayanagi did not drop a game in her singles match against the Lady Eagles to grab her team-leading 10th victory of the campaign. She edges out classmate Lisa Grosselius and freshman Macy Vonderschmidt, the March 25 Conference USA Athlete of the Week, for team-best honors as the pair has tallied nine apiece.
Vonderschmidt clinched Wednesday’s triumph, using all three sets to knock off her opponent at the No. 3 slot. Her nine dual match victories top all 49ers, one more than Takayanagi’s total.
Charlotte has won the doubles point in two-straight outings, and three of the last five, entering Saturday. Vonderschmidt has been a part of the two most successful tandems, pairing with sophomore Jessica Pérez and also freshman Victoria Pahlett for three wins apiece.
Nemec is concluding her third year with the Niners program after transferring in from Buffalo. The Calgary, Alberta, product unfortunately has seen limited action due to a variety of injuries throughout her career.
She collected three Atlantic 10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll accolades for her academic prowess, while also earning a pair of “Perfect Niner” plaudits for a 4.0 semester GPA. She also was tabbed as a 2012 ITA Scholar-Athlete and helped her doubles team to a victory in its first match of the Atlantic 10 Championships that season.
East Carolina owns an 11-10 overall and 0-1 C-USA ledger this spring under 16th-year head coach Tom Morris. The Pirates are coming off split results Saturday, falling to Liberty before knocking off North Carolina Central, to conclude their home slate.
Melis Tanik paces the squad with 21 victories this year, including 10 during the dual matches. Dana Gray has earned a team-high 11 wins this spring. Overall, five ECU players have posted double-digit singles triumphs in 2013-14.
With nearly every doubles combination possibility playing, the duo of Michelle Castro and Emily Groeneveld tops the squad with eight victories. The pair has played just five times together this spring with Groeneveld and Tanik registering a program-best seven wins in the spring.
The 49ers lead the all-time series 19-12 over their in-state rivals, including picking up a hard-fought 4-3 decision last spring in Greenville. Charlotte owns a 10-6 advantage when the contests have been played in the Queen City, dating back to the first meeting April 11, 1980.