Hokies storm back to take down No. 25 N.C. State, 4-3

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BLACKSBURG – The Virginia Tech women’s tennis team pulled off its first top-25 upset of the season Saturday afternoon, defeating No. 25 N.C. State in a dramatic 4-3 comeback victory at the Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Junior Caroline Daxhelet scored the game winner for the Hokies with a three-set victory on court four, helping Tech win its third straight match of the season. With Saturday’s victory, Tech has also captured four of its last five contests in Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) play.

“I am so very proud of our team,” said coach Terry Ann Zawacki-Woods. “It was a total team effort, and the girls played with tremendous heart and fight throughout the entire match. It is great to see all their hard work day-in and day-out pay off with a top-25 win. All season long we have known we are right there, and they showed what they are capable of today.”

Of note, the last time Tech defeated a top-25 opponent was during the 2016 season, as the Hokies won another dramatic 4-3 match over then-No. 16 Georgia Tech in Blacksburg.

The afternoon began with N.C. State (17-8, 6-6 ACC) winning back-to-back doubles matches on courts one and two, respectively, to secure the one-point advantage.

The Wolfpack then kicked off singles play with two straight-set victories on courts six and five, respectively, taking a 3-0 lead over the Hokies early on. Freshman Nancy Ghanem couldn’t get past NCSU’s Amanda Rebol, dropping a 6-3, 6-0 decision on court six. Shortly after Ghanem’s match ended, NCSU’s Bianca Moldovan topped junior Katherine Butler on court five (6-1, 6-2), bringing the Wolfpack within a point of clinching the match.

However, it was Tech’s stout half of the singles lineup that pulled through, sweeping N.C. State on courts one through four for the victory.

Junior Elena Cerezo-Codina won her sixth straight match of the season and kept hopes alive for the Hokies, as she defeated NCSU’s Claudia Wiktorin by a score of 6-4, 6-1 at the No. 3 slot. Of note, she now boasts an 11-8 overall record on the year.

Trailing the Wolfpack 3-1, No. 96 Francesca Fusinato took care of NCSU’s No. 66 Martina Frantova on court one (6-3, 6-4) and pulled the Hokies within one point of tying the match. No. 95 Natalie Novotna then took control of her match in a third set tiebreaker on court two, beating NCSU’s Anna Rogers 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (8-6) to knot the team score at three apiece. Of note, Novotna has won five of her last six matches in ACC action, totaling an 8-4 overall record in conference play.

All eyes then shifted to court four, where Daxhelet tried to complete the comeback for the Hokies, entering a three-set match with NCSU’s Adriana Reami. In the end, Daxhelet was successful, topping Reami in a hard-fought three-set tiebreaker (5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (8-6)) to give Tech yet another signature victory over a highly ranked opponent. As a matter of fact, Daxhelet also was the one to give Tech the 4-3 victory over No. 16 Georgia Tech last season.

Looking ahead, Tech will play host to its final pair of ACC matches next weekend, as the team welcomes No. 45 Miami on Friday, April 21 and No. 47 Florida State on Sunday, April 23. Friday’s contest is scheduled for 3 p.m., while Sunday’s match is set to begin at 11:30 a.m.

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

Doubles Competition:

No. 1 #14 Anna Rogers/Martina Frantova (NCSU) def. #52 Caroline Daxhelet/Francesca Fusinato (VT), 6-4

No. 2: Bianca Moldovan/Claudia Wiktorin (NCSU) def. Elena Cerezo-Codina/Natalie Novotna (VT), 6-4

No. 3: Shene Disbergen/Sansitha Nandakumar(VT) vs. Amanda Rebol/Adriana Reami (NCSU) 5-2 unfinished

Singles Competition:

No. 1: #96 Francesca Fusinato (Tech) def. #66 Martina Frantova (NCSU), 6-3, 6-4

No. 2: #95 Natalie Novotna (Tech) def. Anna Rogers (NCSU), 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (6)

No. 3: Elena Cerezo-Codina (Tech) def. Claudia Wiktorin (NCSU), 6-4, 6-1

No. 4: Caroline Daxhelet (Tech) def. Adriana Reami (NCSU), 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (8)

No. 5: Bianca Moldovan (NCSU) def. Katherine Butler (Tech), 6-1, 6-2

No. 6: Amanda Rebol (NCSU) def. Nancy Ghanem (Tech), 6-3, 6-0

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

For updates on Virginia Tech women's tennis, follow the Hokies on Twitter

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