Wilson, NC – The Emmanuel College Women's Tennis Team traveled to the home of the Barton Bulldogs for a second conference Carolinas match of the weekend.
The Doubles matches started very close with all courts playing evenly. After two service holds for each side, the #1 team formed by Botella/O'Connor shift up a gear and won the next 6 games to win the match by a convincing 8-2. On courts #2 and #3 the story was completely different with Emmanuel fighting to stay alive in the matches. With a 7-4 in favor of the home team on both remaining courts, the Lady Lions kept believing in their chances and took the matches to tie-breakers. After trading service points on court #2, Emmanuel was able to open a 5-4 break lead, but the Lady Bulldogs quickly responded with well-placed serves and fast pouches at the net, closing the win by 8-7 (7-5). In the meantime, on court #3, Cipriano/Siva railed the tie-breaker and were unable to recover from the early break, dropping the match by 8-7 (7-4).
With a 2-1 lead, the Bulldogs needed only 3 more wins to capture the win and they got even closer after grabbing a point on courts #3 and #6. The score was now 4-1 for Barton College and with only 4 courts remaining, Emmanuel needed a win in every single one of them to grab the win. Out of the 4 courts, EC lost the first set in 3 of them with only Katharina Kiderlen on court #5 able to grab her first set before dispatching her opponent by a solid 6-3 6-2. On court #2, Pearllan Cipriano was not having the best day on the court, but never stopped fighting and came back from a 6-4 2-0 deficit to a three-set win by 4-6 6-2 6-2. The overall score was now 4-3 favoring the Bulldogs, but with two courts remaining, Emmanuel was still looking for a possible win. After dropping the first set on a tight Tie-breaker by 8-6, the Sophomore, Fantine Botella started to play better at the baseline and finding more space on the court to use her forehand to annotate a 3-set win by 6-7 (7-5) 6-3 6-2. With the dual match now tied 4-4, everything came down to the hands of the Freshman Victoria Silva at court #4. The first set did not favor the Lady Lion and Barton was able to earn a win by a close 7-5. The match got very tense and the second set was only decided in a tie-breaker won by Emmanuel by 7-4. The third set started better for EC and Victoria earned an early break that she kept until serving for the match at 5-4. After dropping the first two points, Victoria saved 3 break points, missed 2 match points, before finally closing the set, the match, and the dual event!
The Emmanuel Lady Lions won 2 consecutive conference matches this season and they will be looking for a third one next Saturday when they will serve host to the King University Tornado. First serve is scheduled for 1PM!
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