Despite devastating injuries, the College of William and Mary (7-10, 0-2 CAA) was able to salvage a split decision in its Sunday doubleheader. The Tribe registered a victory over the University of Louisville (8-12, 0-1 Big East) 4-3 before losing to Georgia State University (8-4, 3-0 CAA) 6-1 in the afternoon at the Busch Tennis Courts.
The no. 51 Tribe finished the day with only four healthy players due to a string of setbacks.
“There is a bit of a weight hanging over us because we know the reality of our situation now and that we are going into a match struggling to get a doubles point,” Head Coach Meredith Geiger-Walton said. “We are truly only putting two [doubles] teams out there, and then we really have to count on four singles. We know the reality of the weight… and have accepted the reality.”
Junior Lauren Sabacinksi and freshman Maria Morrissey are out for the season due to a knee injury and illness, respectively. Freshman Katie Kargl, fighting a back injury, and senior Katarina Zoricic, battling a foot injury, are competing through the pain.
In the morning match against the Cardinals, the College dropped the doubles point before rallying to win four of six singles matches for the victory. The Tribe had to forfeit a singles match due to injury.
“The four singles that we won were very routine,” Geiger-Walton said. “They went out there and took care of business. They were focused, played high-percentage tennis, minimized the errors, and didn’t let themselves get distracted. The mentality [going into the match] is that we are a better team; we have to look like it and act like it and play like it. They showed it in the singles.”
The College fell to 0-2 in the CAA for the first time in the conference’s 23-year history after losing to the Panthers that afternoon.
Junior Carmen Pop mustered the College’s only singles victory with a 6-3, 7-5 final to give the College its lone point. Pop’s victory over Katerina Gresova was her fifth out of her last six matches, improving her spring dual-match record to 11-6.
Junior Ragini Acharya and senior Klaudyna Kasztelaniec notched a victory for the College at the top doubles spot. After breaking their opponents in the first game, the duo was able to build a 5-2 lead before cruising to an 8-5 win.
The second seeded doubles duo of Pop and Zoricic pulled even at 8-8 despite an early 2-5 deficit. Unfortunately for the tandem, they dropped the tiebreaker in a 7-5 decision, sealing the doubles point for the Panthers.
“There is no doubt there is some frustration and some disappointment because we have taken some losses this team does not [normally] take,” Geiger-Walton said. “We have fallen in the rankings, [but] we can’t dwell on the frustration. We can’t measure ourselves by the wins and losses at this point… The plan moving forward is to put ourselves in position to win CAAs because if we win CAAs, we make the postseason and salvage our season. And this team is very capable of doing it.”