BOONE, N.C. – The Elon women’s tennis team dropped its Southern Conference opener on Tuesday, March 6 at the Yonahlossee Racquet Club, as the Phoenix’s rally fell short in a 4-3 setback to Appalachian State.
After falling behind two points, 3-1, Elon (9-4) came back to tie ASU after Viviana Stavreva and Frida Jansaker both won in straight sets over Gabriela Celi and Jessica Thaggard to tie it at 3-all.
Briana Berne nearly pushed her game to a third set following a 6-3 setback in the first set, but Appalachian State’s Gabby Gabriel came back to win the second set, 7-6, to give the Mountaineers the win at No. 6 singles. Gabriel broke to go up 6-5 in the second set before Berne broke to tie, 6-6. The tiebreak was knotted at 5-5 before ASU won final two points for the victory.
The doubles team of Jordan Johnston and Jansaker dropped only their second match of the season, falling 8-5 to ASU’s Ellie Linsell and Jennifer Ansari in the first match of the afternoon. The duo now sits at 10-2 on the year.
ASU claimed the doubles point to take a 1-0 match lead after Elon’s Barbora Lazarova and Stavreva dropped a hard-fought 9-8 decision to the Mountaineers’ Gisela Fernandez and Gabriela Celi. In the No. 2 doubles tiebreak, match was tied 3-3 at the change and was up 6-3 before Elon closed to 6-5 and ASU won 7-5.
Berne and Maria Camara Ruiz won their second straight doubles match versus ASU, topping Blakely Bean and Jessica Thaggard, 8-7, to give the maroon and gold momentum going into singles. In the No. 3 doubles tiebreak, the game was tied 2-2 before the Phoenix won three points to take a 5-2 advantage. ASU closed it to one, 6-5, but Elon won, 7-5, on a double fault.
Johnston made it a 1-1 match at No. 1 singles, claiming a 6-1, 7-6, win over Linsell to keep Elon’s momentum going. Johnston served first in the tiebreak and took the first four points. She scored on all four of ASU’s serves, winning 7-1.
However, the Mountaineers reclaimed the lead at No. 2 singles after Ansari registered a 6-2, 6-4, win over Lazarova to make it a 2-1 match. ASU also took the No. 3 singles in three sets to take a 3-1 lead.
The Phoenix stormed back at the four and five spots after Jansaker and Camara Ruiz won in two sets over Thaggard and Kim-Lea Dihn to knot the match at 3-all with one point remaining.
But the Mountaineers managed to close out the match in at No. 6 singles to claim a hard-fought 4-3 win.
Elon returns to action on Saturday, March 10 at 11 a.m. when it hosts Western Carolina at The Jimmy Powell Tennis Center.