SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate women's tennis team fell 4-3 to Presbyterian College on Thursday afternoon, despite a frantic comeback by the Spartans in singles action.
"We did a good job at courts 3, 5 and 6 picking up a few singles wins. Unfortunately, the match had already been clinched by the time we got things really going on those courts." USC Upstate head tennis coach Tim McLane said, "We all felt we should've won the doubles point, but let it slip, and we let it carry over too much into the singles portion of the event. I feel like we've talked about it a lot this year, but if we can find a way to start matches the way we finish and find a way to maintain that intensity throughout, it's going to make a big difference."
In the doubles portion of competition the No. 2 doubles tandem of Elin Hellberg and Victoria Saldh easily defeated their opponents 6-2. Noelia Acuna and Gabriela Cevallos lost 6-2 at the No. 3 doubles court to set up a winner takes all point at the No.1 doubles court. Maria Jardim and Vale Zarama had an early lead but ultimately fell short, losing 6-4 at the top flight in doubles in action.
USC Upstate (1-14, 0-4 BSC) got off to a slow start in singles play, losing the first set on all but two courts. No. 1 singles player Victoria Saldh and No. 2 singles player Noelia Acuna were unable to dig themselves out of early holes and ended up falling in straight sets. No. 4 singles player Maria Jardim was unable to snap out of her current losing streak, falling in straight sets to the Blue Hose.
Elin Hellberg battled back from a 3-0 deficit in the first set to win an opening set tiebreaker over Presbyterian. Hellberg used the warm and humid South Carolina weather to her advantage as she both mentally and physically broke her opponent down to win in straight sets. The native of Sweden is now 8-7 overall on the season and is currently riding a four match winning streak.
Zarama came out ready to go in singles action after a tough loss in doubles play. The senior was able to snap a recent losing skid and won in straight sets over her opponent. It was just her third win of the season in singles action, but none the less gave the Spartans a chance of winning. Ana Boza dropped the opening set but came back with vengeance in the second and third sets, picking up the final point of the afternoon for the Spartans.
USC Upstate will have a few days to collect their thoughts and regroup as they prepare to take on preseason Big South favorite Winthrop on Tuesday afternoon at the USC Upstate Tennis Complex. Tuesday's game will also be Student Athlete Appreciation Day, with all Student Athletes receiving free ice cream and a gift from the athletic department.
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