Tennis two-step — men drop first two, women win back-to-back

Both women’s and men’s tennis moved to 6-2 last week after divergent fates evened their respective records. The ladies won a pair of matches; 7-0 over Morgan State University Wednesday afternoon and 4-3 against Elon University Sunday morning. The men dropped two tight contests; 4-3 versus the University of Louisiana-Lafayette Tuesday, and 5-2 to North Carolina State University Saturday.

Photo by Shayla Bailey

Women v. Elon

In a nail biting Sunday matinee, a pair of wins on the doubles court was the deciding factor for the Black and Gold after they split six singles matches with the Phoenixes.  

Junior Anna Rasmussen and freshman Melissa Ifidzhen won their doubles match 6-2 after both secured wins on the singles court as well. Freshmen Marina Alcaide Bakari and Sofia Sualehe scored the matches final and deciding point with a 6-2 victory in the third doubles match. Both underclassman bounced back from singles losses to save the day for the Rams.

Women v. Morgan State  

VCU dominated the Bears to the tune of a clean sweep on all courts without dropping a set Wednesday afternoon.

The freshman duo of Alcaide Bakari and Sualehe once again held down the No. 3 doubles court with a decisive 6-1 victory. Freshman Paolo Exposito Diaz Delgado and sophomore Noumea Witmus clinched the doubles point with a quick 6-0 victory on the No. 2 court.

The Black and Gold dropped a total of just nine games throughout all six singles matches.

Photo by Shayla Bailey

Men v. ULALA

The Ragin’ Cajuns came to town and spoiled the Rams’ perfect season, handing men’s tennis its first loss of 2018 in a drama-filled affair featuring a 3-3 singles split.

Junior Victor Lima (6-3, 6-4), freshman Inigo Torre Martin (7-5, 6-0) and junior Arved Noren (6-3, 6-0) all won their singles matches. Despite falling in three sets, freshman Timo Zgraggen put on a show versus Pearse Dolan of ULALA in a 4-6, 6-3, 0-6 thriller of a match.

The doubles court failed VCU Tuesday afternoon, as the Rams failed to secure a point in pairs competition, allowing the Ragin’ Cajuns relatively easy 6-3 and 6-4 victories on the No. 2 and No. 3 courts, respectively.

Men v. NC State

A strong performance on the doubles courts was not enough to lift the Black and Gold past the Wolfpack Saturday afternoon.

Lima teamed up with fellow junior Philip Mobius to take a 6-4 doubles point on the No. 1 court. Noren and sophomore Javier Amantegui secured the point on the No. 2 court 6-3 to take the doubles point on the day. Noren and Amantegui lead VCU with seven doubles victories this season.

A slew of tight lost sets on the singles court doomed the Rams Sunday. Torre Martin dropped his match in three sets (5-7, 6-1, 8-10) despite winning the second of them in decisive fashion. Amantegui (6-4, 3-6, 3-6) and Noren (6-3, 1-6, 0-6) lost similarly back and forth matches.

Photo by Shayla Bailey

Women’s tennis will look to continue its winning ways Thursday when the Rams welcome the Bison of Howard University to Richmond. First serve is set for 3 p.m. Men’s tennis will look to bounce back when the Black and Gold open conference play at home against George Washington University at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Zach Joachim, sports editor

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