Feb. 1, 2013
BARBOURSVILLE, W.Va. – Despite dominating on the doubles courts, Marshall tennis fell to Kentucky 5-2 Friday at the Huntington Tennis Club.
Marshall dropped to 2-2 after beginning the season 2-0. Kentucky remained undefeated at 3-0.
“I thought we did a really good job in the doubles,” said Marshall head coach John Mercer, “coming out with lots of energy. We played great, all three teams. We were in a good frame of mind going into the match, but give Kentucky credit. They broke us down.”
The day started out positive for Mercer’s crew, as senior Dominika Zaprazna and junior Maria Voscekova topped No. 78 Nadia Ravita and No. 117 Caitlin McGraw 8-5 at one doubles shortly after junior Karlyn Timko and freshman Dana Oppinger defeated UK duo Cece Witten and Kirsten Lewis 8-5 at three doubles.
The doubles match on court two was left unfinished although sophomore Ellie Ball and senior Kara Kucin were in control with a 7-4 lead.
Zaprazna and Voscekova jumped out to a quick start, breaking Ravita’s first two service games to gain a 6-1 advantage over the nationally ranked duo. After Kentucky’s top pair responded with a break of their own and threatened to battle back, Zaprazna put an exclamation point on the victory with an overhead winner on match point.
Similar to court one, the pair on court three never trailed as Timko and Oppinger took advantage of a late break to come away victorious and help Marshall take the doubles point.
In singles action, the Wildcats quickly surged into the lead with straight sets victories coming from Jessica Stiles (6-1, 6-0 over Ball) and McGraw (6-1, 6-2 over Timko).
Voscekova gave the Thundering Herd late hope with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Edmee Morin-Kougoucheff at three singles, but it would be all Kentucky from there.
Oppinger and Zaprazna, despite fighting back from first set losses, were both beaten in three sets. Oppinger fell 4-6, 6-4, 0-6. Zaprazna lost to the nationally-ranked Ravita 1-6, 6-3, 5-7 despite serving for the match at 5-4 in the third.
Kucin’s match on court six finished (1-6, 3-6) shortly after Ravita’s victory gave Kentucky the clinching point.
Marshall will return to the court on Sunday for a match against No. 51 Indiana. Doubles play will commence at 10 a.m. here at the Huntington Tennis Club.