By Nancy Worley, University of Louisville Staff Report
The University of Louisville women’s tennis team took wins over Western Kentucky and Southern Illinois on Jan. 16.
The Cards began the day with a 10 a.m. match against WKU, resulting in a 4-2 win. Louisville took the doubles point and then three singles matches for the win.
“We put ourselves in a bad situation in a couple of matches but fought our way through,” said Louisville head coach Mark Beckham. “Because we have limited numbers and a couple of injuries, we need to figure out a way to win as many as we can early in the season and then use our improvements as we get back to full strength.”
In the doubles, the No. 1 team of Abbie Pahz and Olivia Boesing beat Andreanna Christopoulou and Elpida Malamou 6-4 and then the No. 3 pair of Jessie Lynn Paul and Elle Stokes clinched the point with a 6-4 win over Gabby Crofford and Cassie Pennington.
In singles, UofL scored the first two points of the singles when Ariana Rodriguez cruised to a 6-0, 6-0 win over Cassie Pennington and teammate Jessie Lynn Paul rolled 6-1, 6-1. The Hilltoppers won the No. 1 match when Tereza Heilova defeated Sena Suswam 6-4, 6-2. WKU won the No. 2 match as well as Christpoulou outlasted Elle Stokes 6-3, 6-3. Abbie Pahz clilnched the match for the Cardinals with a 6-0,. 3-6, 6-0 three set win over Elpida Malamou.
Louisville’s second match of the day was against Southern Illinois at 3:30 p.m. They took a 5-2 win with the doubles point, and then held on to win four singles matches.
“We made a very good effort to beat a team that was very excited to play us,” said Beckham. “We have played them the last few years and I could tell that this year they came here to beat us and had every belief that they could. We played well enough to win but sstill have a ways to go. I am happy with the way we performed.”
The No. 3 doubles team of Elle Stokes and Jessie Paul defeated Yana Golovkina and Athena Chrysanthou 6-2 and then the point was clinched when Sena Suswam and Ariana Rodriguez beat SIU’s Vitoria Beirao and Meagan Monaghan 6-4.
The Salukis caught a break early in the singles play when UofL’s Elle Stokes had to retire for a loss at No. 1 singles. But the Cards answered quickly with a win at No. 6 from Ariana Rodriguez, who cruised to a 6-0, 6-2 win over Polina Dozortseva. Cardinal transfer Abbie Pahz put UofL back on top with a 6-3, 6-3 win at No. 3 over Yana Golovkina. SIU got another point at No. 2, when Meagan Monaghan rolled 6-0, 6-2 over Sena Suswam. But the Cards clinched the match when Olivia Boesing won 6-4, 6-2 over Vitoria Beirao at No. 5. UofL added its last point when Jessie Paul outlasted Ana Sofia Cordero 6-1, 7-5 at No. 4.
The Cardinals have Northern Kentucky next on Jan. 23 at 2 p.m. in the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center.