Women’s tennis last three matches end in nail-biting results

Jake Blancher, Associate Sports Editor

The Tulane women’s tennis team strung together a series of thrilling matches, all three of which were decided by 3-4 or 4-3 scores.

In their home matchup against Virginia Commonwealth University, the Green Wave split the first two doubles matchups. In the pivotal No. 2 doubles court, graduate student Adelaide Lavery and sophomore Jiayun Zhu were narrowly defeated 6-4, ceding a point to the Rams. 

Though they trailed, the Green Wave never lost hope, dominating the single tilts with a vengeance. They took four of six matches, with wins by Charlotte Russell, Jiayun Zhu, Brooke Theis and an especially dominant performance by Adelaide Lavery who won her sets 6-0 and 6-2. 

The team’s performance in the singles matchups propelled them to their seventh win of the season.

Two days later, facing the 68th ranked University of Tulsa Golden Hurricanes, they again lost the doubles point, losing two of three courts.

Entering the singles competition, Olive and Blue took three of the first five matchups, tying the score at 3 heading into the final matchup between Jiayun Zhu and Ana Naranjo Martinez. Martinez, representing the Golden Hurricanes, would break the tie and crown the winner of the meet.

Zhu squeaked by in the first set by a score of seven games to Martinez’s five. Then, Martinez edged Zhu via a tiebreaker to secure the second set. In the final set of the meet, Zhu jumped out to a 5 to 3 lead. Martinez, displaying profound poise, battled through three match points to tie the set at six games a piece and send it into another tiebreaker. 

Over four hours after the first serve of the match, Zhu was unable to keep pace with Martinez’s energy, falling in heartbreaking fashion by a score of 7 to 3 in the tiebreaker. This fault gave the overall victory to the Oklahoma squad, marking Tulane’s ninth loss of the year.

The team then headed eastward into the Sunshine State, where they were slated to take on first the University of Central Florida Golden Knights and, subsequently, the University of Southern Florida Bulls. However, a dearth of available players led to the cancellation of the match against UCF.

Against the Bulls, the Green Wave earned the doubles point for their first time in nearly a month — they last won the point against North Texas

In the singles matches, Tulane was unable to split the six matchups, which would have been necessary to clinch a Green Wave victory. Instead, Tulane lost four of the six courts. 

Illinois native Brooke Theis had herself quite the performance in the match. She first won the deciding doubles matchup, alongside partner Kristen Borland, that ensured Tulane would have a lead entering the singles competition. Then, she was the only Green Wave player to triumph in the singles competition through sets — their other victory came via a retired Bulls player.

In spite of Theis’s magnificent day, Tulane fell to a 7-10 record. The team will return to Orlando for the American Athletic Conference tournament.

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