Spartans drop heartbreaker to Bulldogs

Spartans drop heartbreaker to Bulldogs

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The USC Upstate women's tennis lost their eighth one point match of the season on Wednesday afternoon with a 4-3 defeat to UNC Asheville.

"I think it goes without saying that everyone has had enough of these close heartbreaking losses this year." USC Upstate tennis head coach Tim McLane said, "I'm really proud of the way these ladies continue to battle each time and continue to put themselves in position to break through."

The Spartans started out strong with wins at both the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles courts to take an early 1-0 lead over the Bulldogs. The Spartans top tandem of Maria Jardim and Vale Zarama defeated UNC Asheville's top pair 6-3. At the No. 2 court the team of Elin Hellberg and Victoria Saldh won 6-2 over UNC Asheville.

"We played a pretty solid doubles point, but then had some bad luck with our No. 1 singles player having illness," McLane responded. "All the girls did a nice job of moving up a spot and Gabi did a great job filling in for us at the No. 6 position."

With Saldh sidelined with an illness at the start of singles play, the Spartans had to play up a court at every flight. Acuna, Hellberg and Jardim all went down in straight sets at the top three courts in singles play. Ana Boza and Gabriela Cevallos battled their way through the opening sets at the No. 5 and No. 6 courts, with both players winning 7-6 over their opponents. Both Boza and Cevallos finished off their opponents in the second set to pick-up crucial single court wins.

The match came down to the No. 4 singles court, Zarama won the first set 7-5 over her opponent but then lost the final two sets 6-2, 6-0 to push the match in favor of the Bulldogs.

"We're excited to be able to honor our seniors tomorrow against Longwood and hopefully we can send them out on top," McLane said.

The USC Upstate women's tennis team will be back in action tomorrow afternoon against Longwood University. Senior festivities are set for 3:45 p.m. at the USC Upstate Tennis Complex. 

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