From Staff reports
SAN ANTONIO, Texas — The Northeastern State women’s tennis team won its seventh-straight match after upsetting No. 48 St. Mary’s University 5-4 Thursday afternoon at the St. Mary’s Tennis Courts.
The RiverHawks (8-1) fell behind in doubles action for just the second time this season, but they were able to rebound by winning four singles courts and post the upset win over the Lady Rattlers (3-3).
St. Mary’s took the early advantage when Christina Lopez and Felicity Delgado topped the junior duo of Jeanne Mallem and Houda Bellamine 8-4 on the second doubles court.
Senior Ivana Belejova and freshman Kristina Savchenkov tied the team score at 1-1 after battling to a 9-8 (10-8) win over Mariana Rong and Ariana Saldana on the top doubles court.
The home side took the 2-1 advantage into singles play when Valentine Lambrechts teamed with Joanie Bryant to post a 9-7 win over junior Martina Bruzikova and sophomore Barbora Jirickova on the third court.
Singles action started with a bang for the Lady Rattlers when Rong, ranked No. 28 in the nation in singles, topped Belejova 6-0, 6-1 at the top of the lineup.
Despite trailing 3-1, the RiverHawks began to battle back and were able to take a 4-3 lead after the next three decisions.
Savchenkov defeated Delgado 6-3, 7-6 (7-1) on the second court to kick-start the comeback. Bruzikova cruised past Saldana 6-2, 6-0 at the fifth position, and Bellamine squeezed by Lambrechts 7-5, 6-3 on the third court.
Bryant came from behind to defeat Jirickova 0-6, 6-3, 6-2 on the sixth court to tie the team score at 4-4, sending all the attention to Court No. 4.
Despite losing the first set 5-7, Mallem won the match and clinched the Northeastern State victory with identical 6-3, 6-3 decisions in the final two sets.
NSU will remain in San Antonio and battle Our Lady of the Lake University at 1 p.m. Friday.