Women's Tennis Defeats Brown in 4-3 Thriller; Runs Record to 10-1
March 16, 2013
RALEIGH, N.C. – The NC State women’s tennis team turned away a pesky Brown University squad, 4-3, Saturday afternoon, in a dual match that came down to the very final singles contest at the Curtis and Jacqueline Dail Outdoor Tennis Stadium.
“It was a very long, hard-fought match so congratulations to Brown – I thought they played really well,” said head coach Hans Olsen. “We made some really good improvements – especially in doubles – from a few days ago. All day we fought back well.”
Doubles play began with the duo of Joelle Kissell and Tatiana Illova battling to an 8-4 victory over Hannah Camhi and Misia Krasowski in the No. 1 spot. Kissell and Illova improved to 8-1 as a doubles team this season.
At the time No. 1 doubles concluded, the Wolfpack trailed 6-4 on courts two and three, respectively. NC State’s tandem comprised of Chloe Smith and Sophie Nelson sparked the comeback at No. 3 doubles by winning the final four games of their match to win, 8-6, over Nikita Uberoi and Ammu Mandalap, clinch the doubles point and give the Pack a 1-0 lead in the overall match.
With the win, Smith and Nelson improved to 9-2 as a doubles team this season, and helped NC State win the doubles point for the 10th time in 11 dual matches this season.
On court two, the sophomore duo of Elisha Hande and Nicole Martinez exchanged games with Brown’s doubles unit of Ashley Noyes and Jessica Harrow, before grabbing a hard-fought 9-8 (2) win to complete the doubles sweep.
Hande and Martinez pushed their record to 8-1 on the year with the victory.
The Wolfpack jumped on the Bears at the beginning of singles play, as Kissell, the nation’s 63rd-ranked singles player, eased past Krasowski, 6-3, 6-1, in the No. 1 spot to push NC State ahead, 2-0, in the overall match. Kissell’s victory improved her singles mark to 14-7 overall and 10-1 in dual singles matches this season.
The Bears responded at No. 5 singles however, where Uberoi outlasted Hande, 6-0, 6-4, to cut the Pack’s lead in half at 2-1.
With plenty of tennis remaining to decide the outcome of the overall match, the final four matches all moved into decisive third sets.
Illova met Camhi in the No. 2 singles match, where Illova cruised to a 6-1 first-set victory, but Camhi responded with 6-4 victories in each of the final two sets to knot the overall match at two apiece.
Playing in the No. 6 spot, Smith won a quick first set, 6-1, over Mandalap, but dropped the second set, 6-4. The two sides exchanged points and games for the duration of the third set, as the match moved into a 6-6 tie-break. Smith would prevail with a 7-5 advantage and give NC State a 3-2 lead in the overall match.
“Chloe just tried to play smart with her targets,” Olsen said. “It wasn’t easy, but Chloe worked through some things. That victory was really important for us.”
With the victory, Smith improved her perfect dual singles record to 10-0 in 2013.
In the No. 4 singles match, freshman Rachael James-Baker fell behind early after losing, 6-4, in the first set to Harrow, but the Plantation, Fla., native countered with a 6-2 second-set win to push the match into a decisive third stanza.
James-Baker found herself behind, 5-4, but fought off three match-points to keep her hopes alive. The match eventually went into a 6-6 tie-break, where Harrow notched a 7-4 victory to claim the final set and knot-up the overall match, 3-3.
At the moment Brown tied the match at three-all, Martinez led the Bears’ Sarah Kandath, 4-3, in the third set, after Martinez won the first set, 7-5, and Kandath won the second frame by the same count.
“I try to stay tough and have a lot of confidence," Martinez said. "I like to play with a lot of heart and I believe in myself. I believe that no one has the heart that I have.”
Martinez trailed Kandath 2-0, 4-2 and 5-4 in the third set, before the frame was tied, 6-6. Kandath jumped out to a 4-2 advantage in the tie-breaker, but Martinez’s resiliency proved to be too much. The Quito, Ecuador native went on to win the tie-breaker, 10-8, to claim the three-set victory and clinch the overall match for the Wolfpack.
“It was a really tough match, but I had a couple of things that I was working on," said Martinez. "My mindset was really good today. I was really focused. I enjoyed the moment and had fun.”
NC State will open ACC play at home against top-ranked North Carolina on Thursday, Mar. 21, at 4 p.m., before hosting No. 2 Duke on Saturday, Mar. 23, at noon. Both matches will be held at the Dail Outdoor Tennis Stadium.
Tennis Match Results