Women’s tennis posted a 1-0 record last week, emerging with a close win over Winthrop University Saturday to improve their season record to 11-2. Their ninth straight win came at the expense of the Eagles, who nearly edged out a victory over the Rams, but the Black and Gold managed to squeak by.
The Rams dropped Winthrop to 10-4, with freshman Melissa Ifidzhen picking up her 17th doubles win of the season. Ifidzhen, paired with freshman Sofia Sualehe, beat their opponents 6-4.
Fellow freshman Paolo Exposito Diaz Delgado blew out her match opponent, emerging victorious by sets of 6-3 and 6-1, and tied junior Anna Rasmussen for a team-leading 13 singles wins on the season. Sophomores Kanako Yano and Noumea Witmus each recorded two-set wins, with Suahele clinching the match with a three-set win.
On the men’s side, the Elon University Phoenix felled the Black and Gold Sunday with a sobering 6-1 loss to open the outdoor season.
However, freshman Inigo Torre Martin won his 12th singles match of the year, providing a bright spot for the Rams. Martin, from Bilbao, Spain, now sits in second on the team with that 12th victory. Elon dominated VCU, while two juniors and a sophomore all proved resilient in the latter stages of the race for the Rams.
Arvid Noren and Philip Mobius, both juniors, and sophomore Ignacio Rivero Crespo all battled to force third sets against their Phoenix opponents, but eventually fell in those final sets. Elon won the opening doubles point and recorded straight-set victories at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, opening their lead up to 3-0. Martin dominated at No. 5 singles, but it proved to fall just short of a team victory against Elon.
The VCU women’s team will face off next on Tuesday, March 20 against Liberty University at 2 p.m. The men’s squad will play their next match against Rice University on Saturday, March 24, facing off against the Owls at 9 a.m.
Adam Cheek, Contributing Writer