EAST HARTFORD, Conn. - The UConn women's tennis team opened the final weekend of regular season play on Friday afternoon by knocking off American Athletic Conference foe East Carolina, 4-1, at the East Hartford Tennis Club. The Huskies have won six of their last seven matches and improved to 13-8 overall and 2-2 in the AAC this season.
Friday's match was played in the clinch format with the Huskies and Pirates meeting for the first time ever on the tennis court. East Carolina opened the match taking the doubles point but the Huskies stormed back in singles play to take the match.
"Emma Alderman lead the way today with a strong winning performance in both singles and doubles," stated head coach Glenn Marshall. "Emma had one of her best overall days this spring season. She was very focused and determined in the second set of her match and that was the difference in her win today."
"It was by far our best effort as a team in singles this season," commented the head coach. " I am really proud of our effort today. We have been on a great run of late, picking up wins in six of our last seven matches. We are looking forward to closing the season on Sunday against Cincinnati and our senior day celebration."
Sophomore Emma Alderman (Hingham, Mass.) and freshman Zaina Zaki (West Chester, Pa.) gave the Huskies the early lead in doubles play with a 7-5 win over Maria Gomez and Neena Wanko at #2. The Pirates battle back and took the 1-0 lead by winning the remaing two doubles matches capped by a 7-6 (5) win at #1 over junior Srna Stosljevic (Novi Sad, Serbia) and senior Maxene Weinberg (Marietta, Ga.).
The Huskies answered on the singles courts with wins in the top-three spots en route to the four-match sweep. Freshman Yelyzaveta Pletnyeva (Vinnista, Ukraine) began the rally by opening with a 6-2, 6-2 win at #3 over Gomez. Stosljevic answered with her 22nd victory on the season, beating Nicole LaDuca at #1, 6-3 and 6-1.
Sophomore Shea Flanagan (Overland Park, Kans.) continued her hot-streak, grabbing her seventh-straight victory and matching Stosljevic for the team-lead with 22 wins on the season. Flanagan posted a 6-4 and 6-3 win at #6 over Neena Wanko to improve to a team-best 8-2 over her last 10 matches.
Alderman closed out the UConn victory by beating Michelle Castro at #2, 6-3 and 7-5. Alderman becomes the fourth Husky this season to reach the 20-win mark in singles play, improving to 20-13 on the year.
The Huskies will play their final tune-up before next week's American Championship tournament on Sunday when they play host to Cincinnati at 11:00 am on the UConn Tennis Courts on campus.