Belmont, NC – The Emmanuel College Women's Tennis Team traveled to the courts of Belmont Abbey for the last match of the regular season.
The doubles matches started with Botella/Cipriano getting the job done at #1 with an early break in the opening game and they cruised for the remaining of the match for the 8-2 win. The crusaders tied the event with a win at #3 doubles by 8-1 over Muesse/Kirby. It was up to #2 doubles to decide which team would have the edge before singles play. In a match full of service breaks and chances for both sides, the Lions served for the win, but after a couple of good returns and counter attacks from the home team, the match went to the tie-breaker. Without losing their mental strength, the Lions used an early mistake from the opponents to earn a mini-break and go to the changeover with a 4-2 lead. With a well-placed serve and another mistake from Belmont Abbey, the Lions had 4 match points and after dropping the first two, they finally clinched the win by 7-4.
In singles, #1 Fantine Botella did not find any problems to play her game from start to finish and with massive forehands, good approaches to the net, and service aces, the Freshman from France closed the match 6-0 6-2. #2 Pearllan Cipriano also cruised on the court to earn a quick 6-0 6-0 win. With the overall score now 4-1 in favor of the Lions, Belmont Abbey reduced the advantage by capturing a win over #5 Abi Muesse by 6-1 6-0. Looking to clinch the event with another win, #3 Katharina Kiderlen, fought a long and hard battle but dropped the match in a very tight tie-break in the second set. The Freshman from Germany could not use her aggressive style today on court and fell 6-2 7-6 (7-5). On court #6 Claudia Morris was also having troubles to play her best tennis in the first set, but everything changed in the second set. Using her forehand and mixing it up with a few drop shots and quick approaches to the net, Morris served for the set. After a couple of doubles faults and two backhands who sailed long down the court, the set was now tied 5-5. The Crusader used the momentum and quickly changed the match in her favor and closed the set for a 6-2 7-5 win. After losing the 4-1 lead, all eyes came down to Chloe O'Connor. And she did not disappoint her team! Clearly exploring her opponent weakness during the entire match and finishing the points on short balls, the freshman from Zimbabwe clinched the event for the Lions with a convincing 6-0 6-4 win!
While Fantine Botella earned her 7th straight singles win, Pearllan Cipriano won her last 5 matches, the last 3 without dropping a single game! Together, the freshmen duo also won their last 5 matches while playing as the top seeded doubles team for Emmanuel!
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