No. 27 TRIBE 0, No. 18 UNC 7
Just over 24 hours after upsetting 16th-ranked University of Texas, the no. 27 College of William and Mary (1-2) fell 7-0 against another top-20 opponent — no. 18 University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill — in the final round of the ITA Kickoff Weekend Tournament.
“[UNC] is very consistent throughout their lineup,” Head Coach Meredith Geiger-Walton said. “There is no doubt that in our doubles we came out a little flat. I am disappointed that we didn’t have the same energy we exhibited against Texas.”
The Tribe’s top singles performers failed to collect wins as both 79th-ranked junior Ragini Acharya and no. 95 senior Kat Zoricic lost. Zoricic fell to All-American no. 47 Sanaz Marand 2-6, 7-6, 13-11, while Acharya dropped her contest 2-6, 3-6.
Zoricic, playing in the top singles spot, returned from a slow first set to provide the gutsiest and longest performance of the afternoon.
Trailing 4-5 in the second set, Zoricic escaped defeat, breaking Marand’s serve and eventually forcing a tie-breaker, which she won 7-2 on the strength of two service aces. She corralled the early lead in the super tiebreaker (which replaces a final set when the match has already been decided), but Marand recovered to overtake Zoricic 10-9 and escaped with three consecutive points to squeak out a 13-11 victory.
“[Zoricic] is a great competitor and a great fighter,” Geiger-Walton said. “[It is] too bad she just didn’t get a point there at the end to win it all. [She was] very deserving of it.”
Early doubles action proved costly for the College as well when the number two tandem of seniors Barbara Zidek and Klaudyna Kasztelaniec fell 8-1, shortly before the third-seeded duo of junior Carmen Pop and freshman Katie Kargl were handed an 8-3 defeat.
TRIBE 4, No. 16 TEXAS 3
On Saturday, an energized Tribe squad surged back from an early deficit to beat the Longhorns 4-3 in the opening round of the ITA Kickoff Weekend.
After dropping the doubles point, the Tribe mounted a comeback courtesy of wins from its top three singles players in addition to Pop, who sealed the team victory in a 6-2, 6-4 showing over Maggie Mello.
“I fought my butt off,” Pop said. “I dug out balls, especially in the first set. In the second set, I was starting to get a little more tired, hitting some more second serves, and she started to hit a couple more returns. Eventually, it came to a mental match, and I took it from her in the final game.”
Despite the early doubles defeat, both Acharya and Zoricic quickly took command of their respective singles matches and won easily. Zoricic dominated no. 60 Vanja Corovic 6-2, 6-2 and Acharya handled her opponent in a 6-1, 6-2 victory.
Kasztelaniec registered a 6-0, 6-2 win in the quickest singles match of the morning.
“To be able to sweep one, two and three singles and carry that over for Carmen to clinch it. It was just awesome,” Geiger-Walton said. “To them, that is the way they feel they should play every time.”