Tech suffers setback vs. Marshall, blanks Radford, 7-0

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Marshall 5
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Virginia Tech 7

BLACKSBURG – The Virginia Tech women’s tennis team improved to 5-2 on the young season, after splitting a pair of matches at the Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center on Sunday.

The Hokies suffered a 5-2 setback vs. Marshall (5-2) in their first match of the day, but bounced back to claim a 7-0 victory over Radford (0-4) in the evening match.

The duo of Francesca Fusinato and junior Katherine Butler cruised past Marshall’s Maddie Silver and Rachael Morales on court two, winning by a score of 6-2 to claim the Hokies’ lone doubles match of the contest. Tech’s tandem snapped Silver and Morales’ 16-match win streak – a streak that dated back to the 2015 season. Following the victory on court two, the Hokies (4-2) dropped back-to-back matches at the No. 3 and No. 1 slot, respectively, giving the Herd (5-2) a one-point advantage heading into singles.

Freshmen Natalie Novotna and Nancy Ghanem made quick work of their opponents in singles play, putting the Hokies ahead on the scoreboard. Novotna bested Marshall’s Anna Pomyatinskaya in straight sets (6-3, 6-2) on court four, and Ghanem was not far behind her, as she picked up a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Marshall’s Daniela Dankanych on court six.

Roughly 10 minutes after Ghanem’s match finished, Marshall’s Derya Turhan pulled off a 6-3, 6-4 upset vs. No. 66 Fusinato at the No. 1 position.

With the match tied at two apiece, the Hokies entered into a series of three-set battles.

Junior Caroline Daxhelet, ranked No. 52 nationally, competed against her first ranked opponent this season, playing against No. 122 Silver on court three. She claimed the first set, but could not pull off the victory, as Silver won the following two sets to claim the match (5-7, 6-4, 6-2).

The Herd earned today’s victory at the No. 5 slot, as Morales defeated senior Sansitha Nandakumar in a hard-fought battle (6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7-4)). Nandakumar dropped the first set, but only gave up two games in the second to force the match into a tiebreak. Nandakumar could not pull off the comeback, as she eventually fell to Morales in three sets.

Tech closed out the day, claiming a 7-0 victory over Radford. The Hokies won the doubles point, as junior Elena Cerezo-Codina and Daxhelet, who rank No. 51 nationally, rolled to a 6-2 victory at the No. 1 spot. Junior Sloan Barton and sophomore Emily Pence teamed up for the first time this season and claimed the point with their own 7-5 triumph on court three.

In singles play, Tech wasted little time and recorded three straight victories to claim the match.

Novotna picked up the pace at the No. 2 singles slot and defeated Radford’s Natalie Sayer (6-2, 6-0) for her sixth straight win of the season. Fusinato also captured a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Radford’s Drouslie Dzeubou on court one.

Only needing one more point to win the match, Butler answered the call for the Hokies on court five. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native picked up her second singles win of the year, defeating Radford’s Yuliia Popova in straight sets by a score of 6-2, 6-4.

With the match decided, freshman Luisa Uscocovich (6-2, 6-3), Nandakumar (6-3, 6-3) and Ghanem (6-0, 7-6 (7-3)) each picked up victories at the No. 6, No. 3, and No. 4 slots, respectively.

Tech will hit the road once again, as the Hokies travel to Morgantown, West Virginia, for a match against the Mountaineers on Saturday, Feb. 18. The match is set to begin at noon ET.

Fans can follow all the action during each match of the 2017 season by following the squad on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Tech vs. Radford Results:

Doubles Competition:

No. 1: #51 Elena Cerezo-Codina/Caroline Daxhelet (VT) def. Natalie Sayer/Meili Martin (RU), 6-2

No. 2: Katherine Butler/McKenzie Collins (VT) vs. Drouslie Dzeubou/Claire Nguyen (RU), 4-4

No. 3: Emily Pence/Sloan Barton (VT) def. Yuliia Popova/Karlie Pope (RU), 7-5

Singles Competition:

No. 1: #66 Francesca Fusinato (VT) def. Drouslie Dzeubou (RU), 6-2, 6-2

No. 2: Natalie Novotna (VT) def. Natalie Sayer (RU), 6-2, 6-0

No. 3: Sansitha Nandakumar (VT) def. Meili Martin (RU), 6-3, 6-3

No. 4: Nancy Ghanem (VT) def. Claire Nguyen (RU), 6-0, 7-6 (7-3)

No. 5: Katherine Butler (VT) def. Yuliia Popova (RU), 6-2, 6-4

No. 6: Luisa Uscocovich (VT) def. Karlie Pope (RU), 6-2, 6-3

Order of Finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (2,1,5,6,3,4)

Tech vs. Marshall Results:

Doubles Competition:

No. 1: Derya Turhan/Anna Pomyatinskaya (MU) def. #51 Elena Cerezo-Codina/Caroline Daxhelet (VT), 6-4

No. 2: Francesca Fusinato/Katherine Butler (VT) def. Maddie Silver/Rachael Morales (MU), 6-2

No. 3: Stephanie Smith/Daniela Dankanych (MU) def. Sansitha Nandakumar/Natalie Novotna (VT), 6-3

Singles Competition:

No. 1: Derya Turhan (MU) def. #66 Francesca Fusinato (VT), 6-3, 6-4

No. 2: Stephanie Smith (MU) def. Elena Cerezo-Codina (VT), 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (10-8)

No. 3: #122 Maddie Silver (MU) def. #52 Caroline Daxhelet (VT), 5-7, 6-4, 6-2

No. 4: Natalie Novotna (VT) def. Anna Pomyatinskaya (MU), 6-3, 6-2

No. 5: Rachael Morales (MU) def. Sansitha Nandakumar (VT), 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7-4)

No. 6: Nancy Ghanem (VT) def. Daniela Dankanych (MU), 6-2, 6-4

Order of Finish: Doubles (2, 3, 1); Singles (4,6,1,3,5,2)

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