Eagles Suffer Tough Loss to USC Upstate
Georgia Southern dropped to 2-2 overall, while USC Upstate improved to 2-0 on the year.
“This was a heartbreaker of a match, but we fought hard and played well against a strong USC Upstate team,” said head coach Amy Bonner. “If we executed when we needed the big points, it would have been a different decision. But we will learn from this match and it will make us a better team in preparation for Southern Conference competition.”
A fight for the doubles point ensued to open match play with two courts battling to the end. Georgia Southern walked away with the first win on court two as Ashley Hungerford (Clearwater, Fla.) and Melanie Rolle (Gainesville, Fla.) cruised to an 8-2 victory, but USC Upstate quickly tied the field with a win at the top seed, leaving the doubles point decision on court three. The tandems drew the match into a tiebreak in which Natalie Maffett (Rome, Ga.) and Jessica Fuller (Cartersville, Ga.) were victorious, 9-8 (7-5), giving GS the early 1-0 advantage.
The Spartans quickly turned the pace of the match taking first sets on four of six courts and gaining two straight set victories to claim the lead, 2-1. First off the singles courts, Francisca Valderrama defeated Maffett, 6-2,6-2, before Allison Beeler (Alpahretta, Ga.) succumbed at No. 6. Beeler dropped the first set 4-6, and erased a 4-1 deficit in the second to bring the match 4-3. But the freshman could not hold onto the momentum as Ana Sofia Camberos pulled out the win, 6-4, 6-4.
Beavers (Kingsport, Tenn.) shined at the top seed recording her third win from the one position. The junior took the first set 6-2 and found herself down 4-3 before the Eagle took the next two games for a 5-4 lead. Beavers closed out the set, 6-4, drawing the match score to 2-all.
Splitting sets at No. 5, Ashley Hungerford (Clearwater, Fla.) evened the playing field with a second set win and looked in good position for the third set, holding a 4-1 advantage. But Simona Cacciuttolo battled back, broke Hungerford and took the next five games for a 6-4 final set, pushing USC Upstate in the lead, 3-2.
All eyes turned to court three as Rolle and Emilia Milovanovic were fighting for the match in a third set. Rolle avenged a first set loss and took the second, forcing a deciding final set where she found herself down 4-3. Back-to-back breaks left the match on serve at 5-all as both opponents held serve forcing a tiebreak. Down 3-6, Milovanovic took the next four points, fighting off three match points, for a 7-6 advantage, before Rolle tied it 7-all. Milovanovic captured the next two points to take the match, 9-7, in the tiebreak and clinch the match for USC Upstate.
With the match already decided, court four played a super tiebreak as Kristi Kegerreis (Fairfax, Va.) and Cinthya Lazaro split the first two sets. Kegerreis won the tiebreak, 10-7, for a final match score of 4-3.
The Eagles continue this three-match homestand on Saturday, February 20 welcoming Coastal Carolina to the Hanner Tennis Complex. First serve is slated for 11 a.m.
USC Upstate 4, Georgia Southern 3
Records: USC Upstate 2-0, Georgia Southern 2-2
1. Monica Pezzotti/Francisca Valderrama (USC) d. Kristi Kegerreis/Ali Beavers (GSU) 9-7
2. Ashley Hungerford/Melanie Rolle (GSU) d. Emilia Milovanovic/Cinthya Lazaro (USC) 8-2
3. Natalie Maffett/Jessica Fuller (GSU) d. Ana Sofia Camberos/Simona Cacciuttolo (USC) 9-8(5)*
Order of finish: 2, 1, 3
1. Ali Beavers (GSU) d. Monica Pezzotti (USC) 6-2,6-4
2. Francisca Valderrama (USC) d. Natalie Maffett (GSU) 6-2, 6-2
3. Emilia Milovanovic (USC) d. Melanie Rolle (GSU) 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(7)*
4. Kristi Kegerreis (GSU) d. Cinthya Lazaro (USC) 7-6(7), 4-6, 10-7
5. Simona Cacciuttolo (USC) d. Ashley Hungerford (GSU0 6-1, 4-6, 6-4
6. Ana Sofia Camberos (USC) d. Allison Beeler (GSU) 6-4, 6-4
Order of finish: 2, 6, 1, 5, 3, 4
*Clinched the match
- Category: Women's Tennis
- Published on Sunday, 14 February 2010 19:23