CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The USC Upstate women's tennis team split a pair of matches on Saturday against Division II opponents Belmont Abbey and Queens University.
The Spartans improve to 1-3 overall on the season, while Belmont Abbey fell to 1-3 overall and 0-2 in spring season play. The defending South Atlantic Conference champions, Queens improves to 1-0 on the 2019 season.
Match One: USC Upstate 7, Belmont Abbey 0
The USC Upstate women's tennis team picked up their first win of the 2019 season on Saturday morning with a sweep of Belmont Abbey on the road.
"We got off to a strong start with doubles wins." Assistant tennis coach Michael Graham said, "All of the ladies stayed positive and intense bringing that momentum into singles. Everyone was able to get a win in singles which I think really boosted our ladies confidence."
The Spartans set the tone early in the doubles portion of the match. USC Upstate's No.2 doubles tandem of Maria Jardim and Vale Zarama dominated their competition 6-1. The No. 3 doubles team of Noelia Acuña and Ana Boza followed suit with a 6-2 victory over the Crusaders. The Spartans top doubles pairing found themselves in a fight with Belmont Abbey. Both sides fought for every point but the Spartans tandem of Elin Hellberg and Victoria Saldh came out victorious with a 7-6 victory.
In singles play the Spartans kept the momentum going and never dropped a set to Belmont Abbey. No. 1 singles player Acuña took care of her opponent 6-0, 6-1 and improves to 1-2 on the season. Big South Freshman of the Week Victoria Saldh played her first match of the season at No. 2 singles. The freshman did not disappoint, winning 6-2, 6-2 and improves to 3-0 on the season in singles play.
At the No. 3 singles position Vale Zarma finished off her opponent 6-1, 6-1. The win gives Zarma her first victory in singles play this season as her overall record now stands at 1-2. The Spartans No. 4 singles player Maria Jardim remains unbeaten on the season with a 6-0, 6-0 thrashing of her opponent. Hellberg and Boza finished off the Crusaders with straight sets win at the No. 5 and No. 6 singles positions.
Match Two: USC Upstate 3, Queens (N.C.) 4
In the second match of the day the USC Upstate women's tennis team lost another close matchup. For the second time this season the Spartans loss came down to the final doubles point.
"We got off to a rough start in doubles today but the girls stayed positive and fought hard in singles play." Graham responded, "Our freshman along with Ana [Boza] once again stepped up and got us some big wins."
The No. 2 doubles team of Jardim and Zarama picked up their second win of the day with a 6-1 victory over the Royals. The No. 1 doubles tandem of Helleber and Saldh dropped the top flight 6-2, and No. 3 singles team of Boza and Acuña lost 6-3. With the lone doubles point secured the Spartans needed to win four courts in singles competition.
Saldh improved to 4-0 on the season and 2-0 at the No. 2 singles position this season after a thrilling three set victory over Sasha Davidzenka. Fellow freshman Maria Jardim picked up another at the No. 4 singles flight to remain undefeated on the season. Boza gave the Spartans a third singles victory at the No. 6 singles position. The sophomore battled back from a set down to improve to 3-1 on the season.
Top singles player Noelia Acuña fell in straight sets to Yana Fleyer. Zarama and Hellberg did not fare much better in their respective matches as both fell in straight sets.
The Spartans return home this coming Wednesday afternoon to battle Furman at 3:00 p.m.
Follow USC Upstate women's tennis on Facebook (UpstateAthletics), Twitter (@UpstateMWTennis), Instagram (@upstatespartans), YouTube (USCUpstateAthletics) and via text/e-mail alerts (www.upstatespartans.com/list-signup).