Women’s Tennis: Eager to return home after road struggles


Wednesday, Mar. 17, William and Mary (2-4) fell to their host, North Carolina (17-0), with a final score of 0-7. The Tarheels’ victory was ultimately unsurprising, as they are the No. 1-ranked team and have gone undefeated this season. The Tribe, on the other hand, has lost all four away games it has played. 

In singles, not one member of the Tribe won a set. Junior Mila Saric played top spot against No. 120 nationally-ranked Fiona Crawley. The pair were the last to finish. Saric pushed the first set to 12 total games before Crawley ultimately won 5-7. Crawley swept Saric 0-6 in the second set. In attempting to battle for the first set, Saric lost stamina for the second. 

The only member of the Tribe to win more than Saric’s five games was senior Vitoria Okuyama, playing in the third position with 6 wins. Okuyama also played a stronger game in her first set, losing 4-6, but was able to maintain some momentum to pick up two games in her second-set loss, 2-6. 

Graduate student Jill van den Dugen also showed a determined performance against her fellow graduate student, No. 49 nationally-ranked Makenna Jones. Though her match was the first to finish, she put up three wins in her first set and one in her second. In her first match, van den Dugen even held a 3-2 lead, but Jones powered back and won the next 10 games. Jones has not lost a set this semester; She has 99 career match victories in singles competition. 

The bottom three positions had 12 games wins between them, but none could string together enough victories to take a set. Fourth position, sophomore Alisia Manolescu was the only player to even battle back in the second set, taking a negative split on the night. She dropped her first 1-6, but found the strength to win four games against Tarheel Reilly Tran in the second. 

In doubles, the Tarheels clinched the point before the top position finished. Though the Saric and Okuyama pairing led 5-4, the losses of van den Dugen’s and Manolescu’s second and third line, respectively, caused their match to be cut short. 

Manolescu was paired with sophomore Elisa van Meerteren on the bottom pairing. They finished first, with a Tarheel sweep, 6-0. Van den Dugen’s line did not fare much better. They were only able to pick up two wins before Tran’s line eventually won. Their defeat sealed the Tribe’s fate. 

The Tribe will travel to Harrisonburg, Va. to play Colonial Athletic Association foe, James Madison. Both teams have a record of 1-0 in their conference, after beating CAA rival Towson in a 7-0 sweep. For the Dukes, that match-up was their first game of the season; for the Tribe, that victory came only last weekend, March 7. However, overall, the Dukes have only dropped one of their six matches against No. 37 Old Dominion.

The Tribe hopes to continue its CAA luck and win its first match on the road Mar. 21 at 3 p.m.


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