CINCINNATI, Ohio – The UConn women’s tennis team closed out their regular season on Saturday afternoon falling in a hard fought American Athletic Conference dual match to East Carolina, 4-3, at the University of Cincinnati. The Huskies move on to next week’s AAC Championship tournament with seedings and the tournament bracket to be announced on Monday.
“The match today with ECU was a dogfight, and it came down to the wire,” stated head coach Glenn Marshall. “We came out just short in doubles, after winning at number two, and losing at number three. Lizzy and Emma battled to the end, but came up just short.”
The Huskies No.2 team of sophomores Jacquelyn Fitz-Randolph (Tampa, Fla.) and Gillian Perrotta (Scarsdale, N.Y.) stormed to their eighth-straight win by taking down Maria Gomez and Nastja Rettich, 6-4. The duo head into the postseason with 21 wins and are 9-1 in their last 10 matches.
“In singles, we came out strong and won four of the first six sets. Lizzy stepped up big time for the first Husky point winning in straight sets. Then, Summer stepped up and played a very good match to put us up 2-1. Then it came down to Emma and Fitzy, who each lost their first sets. Both hung tough and clawed their way back to tiebreakers in the second sets, but came up a little short, putting us down 3-2. Laz pulled out an awesome win at number five in straight sets to tie the match score at 3-3. The match came down to Shea in the 3rd set, and ECU stepped up at 5-4 in the third set for the win.”
On the singles court, UConn got off to a good start with juniors Yelyzaveta Pletnyeva (Vinnitsa, Ukraine) and Summer Walker (Conyers, Ga.) picking-up quick wins to put the Huskies in front 2-1 in the match. Pletnyeva won at No.2 over Annija Veinsteina, 6-0 and 6-4, her 22nd win on the season, sending her into the postseason 7-3 in her last 10. Walker grabbed her 14th win on the year, winning 6-4 and 6-3 over Michelle Castro at No.4.
ECU pulled back in front with wins at No.3 and No.1 but UConn’s Jacqueline Lazaro (Largo, Fla.) pulled the match to 3-3 thanks to a win at No.5, 6-4 and 7-5 over Sarah Sarjoo. Lazaro finished the regular season at 14-3 in singles, 7-2 during dual matches.
The match came down to a three-set battle at No.6 where ECU’s Nastja Rettich edged senior Shea Flanagan (Overland Park, Kans.) Flanagan posted a 7-5 win in the first set but Rettich battled back to win, 6-3 and 6-4.
“It was such a close match to a big rival of ours. Hopefully we can get a chance to play them in our conference tournament next week in Orlando.”
The Huskies will compete at the AAC Championship next week at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, Fla.