RICHMOND, Ky. – The Western Carolina University women’s tennis team suffered its first loss of the 2017 season and it came by the slimmest of margins as WCU fell to host Eastern Kentucky 4-3 Saturday afternoon. WCU won the doubles point but was unable to pick up three singles victories for the win.
"We competed our butts off today and fell just short of pulling off the upset,” said Western Carolina head coach Michaela Kissell-Eddins. “EKU is a great team who has had much success in their conference this past decade and I feel we went toe and toe with them in terms of talent. As a coach, it was so great to see our young team competing at that caliber and these experiences will definitely help us later in the season. Our girls were put into pressure situations and they played great. Of course there were points or games we wish we could get a second chance at but that is just sports. EKU also fought hard and deserved the win today. Overall, I am very happy with how we started off the season in these past two matches and I look forward to getting back to Cullowhee to prepare for two more matches next week."
WCU dropped the opening doubles match at No. 1 but roared back to takes No. 2 and No. 3 to earn the doubles point. Freshmen Lauren McCall and Jordan Strickland teamed up a No. 2 to take a 6-4 victory while junior Elizabeth Ansari and freshman Madison Riley claimed the No. 3 match 7-5.
EKU was able to win the first singles match on court one as sophomore Savannah Taranto fell 6-2, 6-4. WCU retook the lead as McCall won No. 4 singles 6-2, 6-4.
The Colonels tied the match at two as Strickland fell at No. 2 6-4, 2-6, 6-0. EKU claimed their first lead of the match as sophomore Alexa Webb fell at No. 3, 6-1, 2-6, 6-3 and the Colonels clinched the match at No. 5 as Riley fell 6-1, 6-4.
Ansari was able to claim No. 6 singles, 6-4, 1-6, 10-5, but it would not be enough as EKU won the match 4-3.