Fadel Allassan, Print News Editor
A victory on the No. 1 singles court by senior Olga Barshcheuskaya was not enough as VCU women’s tennis fell short against their cross-state counterparts from Old Dominion University.
The No. 57 Monarchs pulled off a 4-3 victory, gaining their points in doubles in the No. 2 and the No. 4 courts to seal their third straight victory and second consecutive victory against the Rams, who fell to a 1-3 record.
Barshcheuskaya, a Belarusian native, and sophomore Darya Berezhnaya earned a victory for the Rams in their match in doubles on court 1; however losses on courts 2 and 3 meant that ODU came away with the point in doubles.
Barshcheuskaya came from behind to defeat ODU’s No. 1 Nataliya Vlasova in three sets. Vlasova easily won the first set 6-0, but Barshcheuskaya won the next two sets 7-5 and 6-2 to ensure her individual victory.
“I lost the first set I really quick. I couldn’t figure out how to play against her,” said Barshcheuskaya after the match. “Then second set I said okay you’ve got to be tough on yourself. I really wanted to win it so I played with my heart.”
It was the opposite story in the court beside Barshcheuskaya’s as sophomore Anna Rasmussen won her first set for VCU. Unfortunately, she was defeat in the following two sets in a loss to ODU’s Adrianna Rajkovic.
Freshmen Sofia Segerfors and Janina Braun also each gave a point to the Rams by winning their respective matchups but ultimately the Monarchs were able to squeak by a win against the Rams.
“Tough loss – losing 4-3 and two matches by match points so that’s very close. I feel for the girls, but that’s how it goes. You win some of those and you lose some,” said Kostin. “Nobody likes to have a losing record. I don’t think our team is used to having a losing record but we just have to keep on going.”
The Rams continue non-conference play as they travel to Lynchburg to play Liberty University on Feb. 19 and the University of North Texas the following day. Barshcheuskaya said this season the Rams quest to win a fourth straight Atlantic 10 Championship, a feat which she believes the team can accomplish.
“We could do better. We have to work more on our shots and maybe mentally,” Barshcheuskaya said. “We need to stay positive and believe in ourselves because we have a young team, so I think we need to keep going and results will come.”
Print News Editor, Fadel Allassan
Fadel is a sophomore print journalism major. He is fluent in English, French and Sarcasm, and he probably doesn’t like you. Fadel enjoys writing about politics and making people drive him to Cook-Out. // Facebook | LinkedIn