New Orleans Women’s Tennis opens homestand with 4-3 loss to Middle Tennessee

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Privateers drop non-conference match against Blue Raiders

NEW ORLEANS – The University of New Orleans women’s tennis team began a four-match homestand on Friday afternoon against Middle Tennessee, splitting the final two singles matches trailing 3-2 overall to fall to the Blue Raiders 4-3.

Junior Anja Luethi paced New Orleans (11-5) with victories in both singles and doubles play, pairing with freshman Yurina Asai at the top doubles flight.

“We lost to a tough Middle Tennessee team,” head coach Burzis Kanga said. “I was pleased with how Luethi did winning both her matches. We fought hard after losing a tiebreaker point on the third doubles court which gave them the doubles point, and created an opportunity for us to win the match with a strong outing in singles play.”

Following a split at the top two doubles flights with 6-2 scores, sophomore Trang Dao and Brittany Johnson lost a competitive bout at the third slot 7-6 to give Middle Tennessee (7-11) the doubles point. The Privateers quickly took the overall lead with a 6-2, 6-2 victory for Dao on the first court and a 6-1, 6-2 triumph for Luethi at the second position. MTSU won on court three 6-3, 6-3 over freshman Claudette Gilhespie, while senior Yasmine Rashad dropped a 7-6 decision in the first set at the fourth slot with a 6-1 loss in the second moving the Blue Raiders one point away from clinching the match.

Facing elimination, Johnson won her opening set on court five 6-1, but lost the second 5-7. In the deciding set, Johnson prevailed 6-1 to knot up the score 3-all.

With the fate of the match resting on court six, sophomore Paula Garriga won her opening set 5-7 before losing the following two 6-4, 6-4.

The homestand continues on Saturday, April 1, when UNO hosts the University of Connecticut at 10 a.m.

Middle Tennessee 4, New Orleans 3

Singles competition
1. Trang Dao (UNO) def. Josefina Zehnder (MT) 6-2, 6-2
2. Anja Luethi (UNO) def. Lidia Burrows (MT) 6-1, 6-2
3. Costanza Magazzini (MT) def. Claudette Gilhespie (UNO) 6-3, 6-3
4. Luisa Zirilli (MT) def. Yasmine Rashad (UNO) 7-6, 6-1
5. Brittany Johnson (UNO) def. Marta Peris Herrero (MT) 6-1, 5-7, 6-1
6. Sarah Sediri (MT) def. Paula Garriga (UNO) 5-7, 6-4, 6-4

Doubles competition
1. Anja Luethi/Yurina Asai (UNO) def. Sarah Sediri/Luisa Zirilli (MT) 6-2
2. Costanza Magazzini/Lidia Burrows (MT) def. Yasmine Rashad/Claudette Gilhespie (UNO) 6-2
3. Josefina Zehnder/Marta Peris Herrero (MT) def. Trang Dao/Brittany Johnson (UNO) 7-6

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