ELON, N.C. – Erica Braschi earned her first singles win over a ranked opponent this season and the Elon University women’s tennis team defeated East Carolina 5-2 on Saturday, April 1, at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center.
Braschi helped the Phoenix win five of the six singles matches, battling back after a first set defeat for a 4-6, 6-4, 10-8 victory over ITA No. 124-ranked singles player Celia Ruiz. After suffering a narrow defeat in doubles action, Elon responded during singles play and Kirsten Ward clinched the match for the Phoenix on court four.
“I was very proud of the way the team competed and came together with such positive energy today against a very good East Carolina team,” said head coach Elizabeth Anderson. “We bounced back strong after losing a very close doubles point. The team showed relentless energy today and that helped us get the win.”
Elon improves to 14-7 overall and 10-1 at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center this season. East Carolina falls to 7-9 on the year with the loss.
In doubles action, East Carolina’s Celia Ruiz and Lisa Hofbauer took the first match 6-1 on court one to give the Pirates the early advantage. The final two courts would go to a tiebreak to decide the doubles point.
Suzanne Zenoni and Kirsten Ward fought hard during a tough battle at No. 3 doubles and came out victorious, 7-6 (7-4), against Michelle Castro and Annija Veinsteina to knot up doubles play with only court two’s match remaining.
Nastja Rettich and Maria Gomez narrowly escaped Olivia Lucas and Braschi with a 7-6 (7-5) win to clinch the doubles point for East Carolina.
Singles action began with a quick response from Zenoni as she won in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2 at No. 3 to tie up the match. Lucas was the next to earn a singles win, which included a comeback from a 4-3 deficit in her second set to defeat Lisa Hofbauer 6-4, 6-4 at the No. 2 position, giving Elon a 2-1 lead.
Maria Paraja extended Elon’s lead 3-1 with her team-high 14th win of the season with a 7-5, 6-2 over Sarah Sarjoo. She has now won three straight matches and improves to 14-6 overall this season.
Ward would then mount a comeback in her match at No. 4 singles after dropping her first set to earn a 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 win over Rettich to clinch the victory for the Phoenix. Castro then picked up East Carolina’s lone singles point at the No. 6 position.
Braschi closed out the match battling back after a first set defeat for a 4-6, 6-4, 10-8 victory over ITA No. 124-ranked singles player Ruiz.
– Erica Braschi earned her first singles win over a ranked opponent this season with her 4-6, 6-4, 10-8 victory over ITA No. 124-ranked singles player Celia Ruiz of East Carolina.
– Braschi has now won three straight singles matches. Her win against No. 124 Ruiz continued her run against good competition after she defeated Hawaii’s Cindy Nguyen, who was previously ranked by the ITA.
– Elon extended its winning streak against East Carolina to six matches since 2012 with the victory over the Pirates.
– The Phoenix improved its record to 10-1 at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center.
The Phoenix is back in action on Wednesday, April 5, on the road at Gardner-Webb. The match will begin at 2 p.m.