Jan. 31, 2014
Akron 4, UIC 3
AKRON, Ohio – The UIC women’s tennis team (0-2) led through the first three matches in singles competition, but fell just short in the final stretch as Akron came out on top, 4-3, Friday at the LaTuchie Tennis Center. Seniors Kathryn Sharples and Jana Knoppe teamed together in doubles to take a win over the Zips and went on to win each of their respective singles matches.
"This was a frustrating loss today," head coach Shannon Tully said. "We put ourselves in position to win, but we didn't get the job done. Kathryn (Sharples) and Jana (Knoppe) contributed solid wins in singles and doubles, but Akron raised their level when we didn't and that made the difference. We are looking forward to our match tomorrow to make the necessary adjustments to pull out a victory."
Sharples and Knoppe collected the long doubles win for the Flames at No. 2, defeating Karolina Maksimava and Caroline Harpaintner, 6-1. Mariana Palacios and Ann-Sophie Hahn fell at No. 1 to Olga Shkundina and Shannon Newnes, 6-4, as Natalia Kuvakina and Veronica Lacerda extended their match at No. 3 before dropping a 7-5 decision to Martina Zerbola and Madison Cohen.
UIC came out with a quick three points to start off singles. Palacios won her match at No. 1 after Shkundina retired due to injury. Then Knoppe came in to take a straight-set 6-4, 6-0 victory at No. 5 over Maksimava before Sharples collected a 6-2, 6-1 win at No. 3 against Zerbola.
The Zips then came back with Cohen posting a 6-1, 4-6, 1-0 (8) win over Kuvakina at No. 2 and Newnes defeating Keti Mebuke, 6-2, 5-7, 1-0 (3), at No. 6. Hahn fought to stay alive in the deciding match at No. 4, but ultimately suffered a 6-2, 7-5 loss to Ksenia Berestetska.
The Flames are back at the LaTuchie Tennis Center on Saturday to take on ASA College at 8 a.m. CT.