Franklin Springs, GA – In a sunny day, the Lady Lions hosted Brenau University in a non-conference event. Emmanuel was looking to break the streak of six straight wins of #6 Brenau.
With doubles on the way first, EC kept the scoreboard close on courts #1 and #2. The tigers finally got a break on #1 doubles and jump ahead with several unforced errors from the home team with a 6-3 lead. The match seemed to be lost with a 7-3 lead, but like in any other match, the duo formed by Botella/Cipriano, fought back, and sat down for a changeover with the score now 7-6. The Tigers served for the match and with an ace in the first point, 2 great points played at the net, followed by a return that misfired, they grab the first point of the day by an 8-6 score. In the meantime, the #2 doubles match was also on the way with great points from both sides. After starting behind with an early break from the visiting team, the Lions found a way back in the match by grabbing a 5-4 lead. The match kept closed but the Tigers proved to be more experienced with less errors and better plays while returning. Brenau finally won the match by 8-6. The Tigers proved to be the better team on the last doubles by defeating Muesse/Kirby by 8-0.
The singles started with all six singles players on court at once. The top seeded Fantine Botella encountered a tough opponent but found ways to use her aggressive game whenever possible. The Tiger Fatyha Berjane found a break at the end of the set and snagged the first set 7-5, with a series of big forehands from the baseline. The second set was very different and without much resistance from Fantine, Brenau got the first singles point of the evening and opened 4-0 in the overall score.
On court #3, Katharina Kiderlen could not find her best game and after several unforced errors, she saw the opponent grab a 6-1 6-1 win and clinch the event for the Tigers.
The Lions were able to grab a win by the hands of Chloe O'Connor. With a very solid baseline game, O'Connor controlled the match by setting up points correctly and waited the right moment to finish the points. The well structured mindset proved to be enough for the Lady Lion, who finished the match by 6-3 6-2.
Claudia Morris, at #6, had a slow start and dropped the first set by 6-1, but found her rhythm back by cutting the errors on the forehand side and also the series double faults. Morris climbed back in the second set and won 7-5, forcing the match to a super tie-break. Everything seemed to be going well for Claudia, but Kelley Cohron proved to be more tenacious in the bigger points and grabbed the win by 10-5.
Brenau also sneaked a win at #5 where the tiger Kirsten Dickins defeated Abi Muesse by 6-1 6-3.
The last match of the day was at #2 singles with the Freshman Pearllan Cipriano, who ran, fell, and tried extremely hard before falling by 6-3 7-6 (7-4). The match was very close during both sets, especially in the second, which was decided only in a tie-break. Cipriano was very solid in the exchanged but the change of game plan at the end by the Tiger proved to be the key for her success.
Head Coach Kethan Darbar commented, "It was a pleasure to have Brenau here on campus today! They have a great team and they are undefeated in their conference now, with only two losses this season. We have a very young team with a lot of talent to be developed in the next year. I am sure we will have better days on the court and we can only get there by facing opponents like the ones today. I am very blessed to have these girls on the team! They try really hard every single time we step on the court and I am positive we are on the right track!"
The Lions will be back in action the very next day, when they will be hosting a NCAA Regional foe, University of Alabama – Montevallo. First serve is scheduled for 1PM!
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