ELON, N.C. – Elon University women’s tennis earned a split in its home doubleheader with a narrow 4-3 loss to VCU and a 7-0 sweep of Catawba on Sunday, Feb. 18, at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center.
Suzanne Zenoni put in a strong performance for the Phoenix (5-4) going a combined 3-1 on the day in singles and doubles action in both matches. She picked up a singles win to tie the match at 1-1 against VCU. Zenoni then earned her first doubles win of the afternoon against the Indians, and quickly defeated Catawba in singles during singles action.
“We battled through a lot of adversity and I am proud of the overall toughness from our team during today’s matches,” said assistant coach Bret Beaver. “It was a great match against a good VCU team. Win or lose, those are the types of matches that help your team get better. We also appreciate Catawba’s patience after a delayed start due to the length of the VCU match. We also want to thank Elon University Physical Plant and Deputy Director of Athletics Mike Ward for helping us get the courts ready this morning so these matches could be played.”
In the first match, the Rams claimed the early 1-0 advantage after winning the doubles point. Elon jumped out in front as Olivia Lucas and Suzanne Zenoni earned a 6-2 win at the No. 2 position. However, VCU answered winning at No. 1, 6-2, and then Marina Alcaide and Sofia Sualehe clinched the point with a 6-2 victory on court three.
Zenoni tied up the match to start singles play with a 6-4, 6-1 victory at the No. 3 position. VCU would then respond with two straight singles victories on courts four and one to take a 3-1 lead. Montana Moore began Elon’s comeback with a 7-6 (4), 6-3 win at No. 6 and Maria Paraja tied the match back up 3-3 with a hard-fought 7-5, 7-6 (5) win on court five, setting up No. 2 singles as the clinching match.
Erica Braschi fought back after falling in the first set 6-1 to force a deciding third set with a 7-5 victory in the second frame. Braschi got into a big hole 5-2 early in the third set. She fended off four match points, but was unable to stay alive as Paola Delgado won 6-2 to clinch the 4-3 win for VCU.
Elon got off to a fast start in its second match, dropping just two games in doubles to take a 1-0 lead against Catawba. The Phoenix completed the sweep in singles competition. Zenoni and Alex Koniaev each won at No. 3 and No. 4 singles before Braschi clinched the victory at the No. 2 position.
Following the first three singles victories, Mia Wallace and Sofia Edo each won putting the Phoenix up 5-0. Lucas then rounded out singles with the final victory at No. 1.
The Phoenix returns to action on the road next weekend with a pair of matches. Elon will first play Winthrop on Friday, Feb. 23, at 1 p.m., followed by Davidson on Saturday, Feb. 24, at 12 p.m.