In spite of vigorous performances from freshman Sharanya Pattabi and junior Ana Maslesa, the women’s tennis team was unable to defeat hard-hitting Richmond and lost to the Spiders, 5-2, on Saturday.
In the two doubles matches, momentum bounced back and forth as both teams struggled with faulting on their first serves. The Spiders jumped on the second serves better than the Owls (3-7), and positioned their returns across the court and occasionally up the baseline.
The Owls’ doubles teams appeared to fare well, but the Spiders dictated the matches overall. Cold weather and high winds made going deep cross-court difficult, and the Spiders dominated the short points. On a few extended rallies, the Owls failed to come up with the better angles and gave the Spiders most of the momentum.
In singles matches, the Owls took advantage right away. The Spiders (7-7) were forced to forfeit the No. 6 singles match because their No. 6 competitor was absent. Regardless, the Owls could not catch up.
Sophomore Yuri Kurashima lost to Richmond’s Robin Carter (6-1, 7-5) and junior Laura Seiverling also lost (6-2, 6-3). In No. 1 singles, Maslesa was upset by Lindsay Cox (6-3, 6-4).
Pattabi took the Owls’ only victory in No. 5 singles, defeating Jelena Zivanovic (6-4, 6-7, 1-0).
“Sharanya played well,” first-year coach Traci Green said. “She’s our freshman and she’s really turned her game around from the beginning of the season. … We need to execute in doubles. [The Spiders] started the game with a certain tone that set the mood for the rest of the day.”
Senior Lauren Verrall went down with a sprained ankle in the second game on No. 3 singles. She continued to play, but eventually lost, 6-2, 6-1.
“I sprained it in the beginning and then I had to keep playing,” Verrall said. “The game was bad from there on.”
Green said she wasn’t too disappointed in the Owls’ performance.
“We did a great job of competing and adapting to the situations at hand,” Green said. “They’re a tough team, if not the best team in the Atlantic Ten [Conference]. The scores definitely did not reflect the way we played.”
Jamie Quadrozzi can be reached at email@example.com.