SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate women's tennis team outlasted Longwood in a three hour match to win 4-3 on Thursday evening at the USC Upstate Tennis Complex.
"What a day for this group of ladies." USC Upstate head tennis coach Time McLane said, "I couldn't think of a better way to finish the season than one of our seniors closing it out to win the match and as close as it could've been in that third set too. So proud of this team for the way they competed. Fighting back to win four tough singles matches and grinding out a couple third sets should give us a whole bunch of confidence heading into the tournament."
The Spartans got off to a bit of a rough start in doubles action. The No. 1 and No. 2 doubles teams both lost by a score of 6-4 giving Longwood the first point of the match. In singles action the Spartans knew that they needed to come out strong if they wanted a chance to win the match.
USC Upstate did just that winning five opening sets across six courts in singles action. Elin Hellberg put the Spartans on the scoreboard first at the No. 2 singles court with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Jamie Breunig. Longwood responded however, winning at the No. 4 singles flight over Vale Zarama. Ana Boza then tied the match at two with a victory at the No. 5 court. Boza defeated Crystal Nzewi 6-2, 6-4 to win her eighth match of the season.
Gabriela Cevallos gave the Spartans a 3-2 lead after she defeated Anika Tylek, 7-6, 4-6, 6-3. Cevallos has now won two consecutive singles matches to improve her record to 2-3 on the season at the No. 6 singles flight. Maria Jardim won the first set but then dropped the last two sets to give Longwood the tying point.
The match came down to a third set between the No. 1 singles players. Noelia Acuna won the first set 7-6 but lost the second one 6-3. The two players battled it out point-for-point in the final set. The match came down to the final games and Acuna came through with a 7-6 win to secure the Spartans victory.
The USC Upstate women's tennis team will now await to see who they will play in the Big South Conference tennis tournament.
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