Strong start not enough for New Orleans Women’s Tennis in 4-3 loss to reigning Southland Conference Champions

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Privateers win doubles point in loss against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

NEW ORLEANS – The University of New Orleans women’s tennis team took on Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, the reigning Southland Conference champions, on Sunday afternoon, falling one game away from their first victory over the Islanders in a 4-3 loss.

New Orleans (12-6, 4-3 Southland) opened up the match with the doubles point, and won at the top-two singles flights, but lost on courts three-six to give Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (12-2, 5-1 Southland) the victory.

“This was a tough loss for us,” head coach Burzis Kanga said. “We started strong, claiming the doubles point and winning the first set in five of the six singles matches, but could not finish them off. We need to adjust a few before the conference tournament where hopefully we can get another chance at them.”

In doubles play, the two sides split 6-3 decisions on courts one and three to make the second slot the decider. Senior Yasmine Rashad and freshman Claudette Gilhespie, pairing up at the second position, outlasted their Islander counterparts in a 7-5 victory to send the Privateers into single play leading 1-0 overall.

Sophomore Trang Dao quickly moved UNO to a 2-0 lead, besting Corpus Christi’s top player and 2016 Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year Hortense Boscher in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 on court one, but four-straight wins for the visitors clinched the contest. The Islanders got their first point on court four in a 6-4, 7-6 win against Gilhespie, with the final four singles bouts all going three sets.

Rashad lost her opening set 6-3, but rallied back in the second with a 6-4 victory to force the third frame, which she lost 6-3. Sophomore Brittany Johnson won her opening set and came close to completing a two-set sweep at the sixth flight, but a 7-3 tiebreaker-point loss and a 6-3 third frame setback moved AMCC one point away from clinching the contest. Senior Anna Segarra Rius won her opening set 6-1 before a 7-5 second stanza triumph for her opposition sent the match to the third set, which went the Islanders way 6-2.

With the match already decided, junior Anja Luethi’s match at the second slot ended with her prevailing in three sets 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 over 2016 All-Southland Conference first-team recipient Jelena Dzinic.

The homestand wraps up on Monday, Feb. 3, when the Privateers host Incarnate Word at 10 a.m.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 4, New Orleans 3

Singles competition
1. Trang Dao (UNO) def. Hortense Boscher (AMCC) 6-3, 6-3
2. Anja Luethi (UNO) def. Jelena Dzinic (AMCC) 5-7, 6-4, 6-4
3. Judit Vives (AMCC) def. Anna Segarra Rius (UNO) 1-6, 7-5, 6-2
4. Louise Trigona (AMCC) def. Claudette Gilhespie (UNO) 6-4, 7-6 (7-5)
5. Maria Maldonado (AMCC) def. Yasmine Rashad (UNO) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
6. Marina Vicens Miquel (AMCC) def. Brittany Johnson (UNO) 5-7, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3

Doubles competition
1. Jelena Dzinic/Judit Vives (AMCC) def. Anja Luethi/Anna Segarra Rius (UNO) 6-3
2. Claudette Gilhespie/Yasmine Rashad (UNO) def. Louise Trigona/Marina Vicens Miquel (AMCC) 7-5
3. Trang Dao/Brittany Johnson (UNO) def. Hortense Boscher/Alexandra Belle (AMCC) 6-3

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