William and Mary (3-7, 1-0 CAA) finished its pair of matches better than it started, defeating George Washington (3-3) 4-0 at the MacCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center Sunday. The Tribe looked to capitalize on its upcoming home stretch after struggling on a three-match road trip earlier in the week.
The day started with a doubles set, featuring senior Lauren Goodman and junior Charlotte Madson facing Victoria Kogan and Xenia de Luna at No. 3. Their set would feature multiple lead changes, a back and forth that would see the Tribe come ahead 4-3. Madson and Goodman would ultimately take control of the set and close it out 6-3, earning the Tribe a lead in the doubles set.
No. 2 featured junior Natalia Perry and freshman Mila Saric versus Katarina Marinkovikj and Sara Grubac. Perry and Saric pulled out to an early 4-1 lead to start. They would find two set points on their eighth game, but fail to close it out, sending the score to 5-3. The Tribe found two more set points in the ninth game and capitalized on the second, earning the doubles point, and giving the Tribe the first point of the day.
At No. 1, senior Clara Tanielian and sophomore Victoria Okuyama played Melis Bayraktaroglu and Maria Siopacha. The Tribe battled for a 3-1 lead to begin the set. Okuyama’s work at the net proved effective against the Colonials, but Bayraktaroglu and Siopacha would battle back, bringing the score to 4-4 for the final leg of the set. The Colonials continued to rally and take a 5-4 lead, but their match would be stopped once the Tribe claimed the other two sets to gain the doubles point.
The singles featured Saric matched up against Marinkovikj at No. 4. Their first set was competitive, and Marinkovikj found herself close to the finish line, up 4-3. Saric swept the final three games to take the first set 6-4. Saric’s momentum would carry over into the second set, and she would take it convincingly, a 6-2 scoreline securing the Tribe’s second point of the day.
Kogan and Madson repeated their doubles matchup at No. 6. Madson’s polished play would net her the first set with a comprehensive 6-2 scoreline. Madson extended the winning into the second set, taking it 6-1, and finding the Tribe’s third point of the day moments after the second.
Perry faced Bayraktaroglu at the No. 2 spot, starting out with a back and forth, going 2-2 through four games until Perry pulled away in the latter half of the set, taking it 6-3. In the second set, Perry would take control in the end, and claim the second set 6-3, gaining the Tribe it’s fourth point and a victory on the day.
In slot No. 1, junior Rosie Cheng would play Siopacha. Rested, Cheng took the first set handily, winning 6-1. The match would be called in the midst of court one’s second set, and Cheng would finish with a 7-5 victory.
More neck and neck competition began at No. 3 as Tanielan faced Grubac, but ultimately, the Tribe would come out ahead there too, as she won 6-4. Tanielian and Grubac were deep into their second set as the match was claimed for the Tribe, and Tanielian finished it victorious, with a 7-5 score.
At the No. 5 slot, Goodman and de Luna squared off. de Luna took revenge for the doubles set as she claimed the first singles set 6-2. This would be the only first singles set GW would take on the day. That victory was short lived as Goodman responded strong in the second set, taking a 3-0 lead early. de Luna was battling back in the second set when the match was called. Goodman would finish the second set 6-3. In a 20-game third set, Goodman would claim it 11-9 and her match 2-1.
The Tribe gave up one singles set total on the day, and finished with a final score of 7-0. It bounced back from a two-game skid, one of which was a sweep it was on the wrong side of against Elon.
“We’ve had rough start to the season,” head coach Toni Bickford said. “We’ve been plagued with injuries, we’ve played a couple matches without some of our top players. We’ve lost some close ones 4-3, and we’ve just been really thinking about staying in a fighting mode and turning the season around, and I think [today’s match] was a good start.”
Bickford spoke on the development she’s seen in the team this season in players stepping up due to injuries.
“It probably looks like an older team, but we have a freshman in the lineup that’s been really growing, Mila Saric,” Bickford said. “And Charlotte Madson didn’t play in the lineup last year but she’s contributing in both singles and doubles.”
Its next match will be Friday, Mar. 1, away against Maryland. Bickford gave insight on the team’s preparation for that match.
“It’s going to be a tough match,” Bickford said. “It’s nice to have that confidence win going into playing against another Big Ten opponent. The trick is going to be managing our injuries.”