Women’s Tennis suffers a pair of setbacks over the weekend

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Brennen Woodruff
bwoodruff@radford.edu

The Radford Women’s Tennis team participated in two matches this weekend, Friday Jan. 27 and Saturday Jan. 28. Friday’s match was against non-conference foe Elon University, a regular rival of the Highlanders.
The Phoenix went up 1-0 early after winning two of the three doubles matches. The Highs’ one win in the doubles matches came from the  up-and-coming duo of freshmen Hannah Crawford and Megan Napolitano with an easy 8-1 victory as the pair steamrolled Elon’s Barbora Lazarova and Bryn Khoury.
Elon also took the majority of the singles matches, winning four out of six. All four of the Elon singles victories were won in straight sets over the Highs.
Napolitano and Crawford came out with the two quick singles wins for RU. Crawford won her singles match easily against Elon’s Frida Jansaker, taking the first set 6-3 and the second set 6-2. Napolitano handed Elon’s Maria Camara Ruiz another straight set loss, as the score of the first set 7-5 and the second set ended with a 6-4 victory for Napolitano.
The Highs eventually fell to the Phoenix by a final score of 2-5, and were handed their first loss of the season. The team looked to bounce back from the tough non-conference loss on Saturday as they faced off against East Tennessee State University, another tough non-conference opponent.
ETSU took each of the three doubles matches in very close contests. Crawford and Napolitano lost 8-6 while the duo of senior Petra Davejic and freshman Taylor Newman took the match to a tiebreaker, which they lost. Senior Mia Drobnjak and freshman Gemma Valls also lost a close match in a tiebreaker against ETSU’s duo of senior Marina Wieliczko and freshman Jessica Brumit.
In the singles competition, the Highs won three of the six matches on the afternoon. Drobnjak, Valls and Napolitano each won their respective singles matches, while Newman, Crawford and Dajevic all suffered setbacks against ETSU. Napolitano’s win bumped her spring singles record to 3-0. Despite Napolitano’s efforts, the Highs fell by a score of 3-4, pushing their season record to 1-2.
The Highs certainly showed their inexperience this weekend with the two tough losses, as four of the team’s seven members are freshman with three seniors (Dajevic, Drobnjak and Tegner) providing the core of the team. Nine-year Head Coach Bruce Harrison will attempt to right the ship as the Highs are just three weeks away from starting Big South play.
The Highs return to play on Sunday, Feb. 5 with a non-conference matchup at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.