SCSU Women Fall to UNC in NCAA Tennis,
Bulldogs to Face UNC Saturday
May 12, 2006
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The South Carolina State women’s
tennis team dropped a 4-0 decision to host North Carolina-Chapel
Hill in first-round action of the NCAA Tennis Championship
at Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center.
The Lady Bulldogs, who were making their second straight trip
to the prestigious tournament, ended their season at 19-3.
The postseason match was the first-ever meeting between SCSU
and the eighth-ranked Tar Heels (25-6), who will meet Wake
Forest in second-round action Saturday.
The SCSU men will also be in action Saturday, as the Bulldogs
will face the host and nationally-ranked UNC-CH men at 9 a.m.
in opening-round action.
Despite the 4-0 margin by the UNC-CH women Friday, the match
was more competitive than the final score, according to SCSU
head Coach Hardeep Judge, who had to juggle his lineup when
junior Milana Borisev did not make the trip.
UNC-CH went ahead 1-0 after grabbing the doubles point when
Sara Anundsen and Jenna Long def. SCSU number one team of Mirian
Cruz and Marcela Rodezno 8-1, and Caitlin Collins and Tanja
Markovic won by an identical score of 8-1 over at number two
doubles over Gisel Brito and Yana Lytkina, subbing for Borisev.
The match between the Lady Bulldogs’ Alexis Panton and
Vesna Popac and the Tar Heels Austin Smith and Meg Fanjoy was
suspended with UNC-CH ahead 6-3.
In singles, the Tar Heels earned victories at the number one
position from Long 6-0, 6-1 over Cruz; at number two, Collins
6-2, 6-0 over Rodezno; and at number six, Markovic 6-1, 6-1
over Alexis Panton, who was moved into the lineup due to the
absence of Borisev, to build a insurmountable 4-0 advantage.
It was Collins’ win that gave the host the clincher
The other three singles matches were suspended with UNC-CH
leading in all three. The Tar Heel’s Anundsen was leading
SCSU’s Popac 6-1, 2-1; Smith was ahead of Brito 6-1,
5-3; and in the closest match of the day, Laura Reichert led
SCSU came out flat and may have showed the effect of a two-week
layoff. The Lady Bulldogs had not played since wrapping up
their second straight Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title
“We played a very good, consistent team today,” said
SCSU’s Judge. “We started flat and never seem to
get going after that, and it may have been due to the two-week
“But North Carolina is a very strong team, nationally
ranked,” he continued, “and you have to give them
credit. We had a lot of ‘deuce’ games and the difference
was that they played the key points a lot better than we did.
“Our players can hit with any of their players, but we
have to do a better job of capitalizing on key opportunities.
Sure, we lost 4-0 but the final score does not really tell
the whole story. We will learn from this (experience).”
Cruz, who was 18-0 entering the post season, had the most opportunities.
After being broken in the first game of the opening set by
Long, and losing at love in the second, she twice was a point
away from winning the third game, and took the fourth to deuce
before falling 0-6.
In the first game of the second set, on her serve, she fought
back from game point twice and had the advantage three times
before losing the game that went to deuce six times. She dropped
the second point but won the third to close the gap to 1-2,
but Long earned two more breaks to win the set at love, and
secure the match and point for UNC-CH.