Smith Sisters Ignite Rally, Lead Herd Past Cincinnati
Down 3-2, Anna and Stephanie Smith clinched the Herd's first win with consecutive victories
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Anna and Stephanie Smith won the final two singles matches contested, helping the Marshall women’s tennis team rally past Cincinnati, 4-3, Friday evening at the Huntington Tennis Club.
The win was Marshall’s first of the season, snapping a 10-match skid to open the year. The win was also Anna Smith’s first match-deciding win and gave head coach John Mercer the 244th win of his career.
“We fought from start to finish in doubles,” Mercer said. “It’s great to see the fight in our team and hopefully we’ll put that same effort out there tomorrow.”
Marshall took the doubles point for the first time in nearly a month, earning wins at each of the top two spots. Anna Smith and Marija Bogicevic made quick work of Emma Miceli and Alexia Coutino, 6-0. Stephanie Smith and Maddie Silver clinched the doubles point with a 6-1 win over Ioana Guna and Caroline Morton, ending their three-match win streak. Ana Marhuenda and Brooke Lashway fell to Antonella Bramato and Ali Miller in the other doubles match, 6-1.
Cincinnati earned a free point during singles play, as the Herd forfeited at No. 6 while Lashway continues her recovery from an ankle injury. Silver then was defeated by Coutino in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1. Bogicevic won in straight sets over Morton, 6-2, 6-4, to even the match, but Marhuenda was defeated by Miceli, 6-2, 6-2, to give the visitors a 3-2 lead. Stephanie Smith defeated Guna in straight sets, 6-4, 7-5, to even the score at 3-3.
In the deciding match, Anna Smith fought back from being down a set to defeat Bramato, snapping the latter’s six-match win streak in three sets, 6-7, 6-4, 6-2.
“It’s great to see Anna pull out a three-set win. She’s done a great job settling in as a freshman and will continue to progress and develop as a player,” Mercer said.
Marshall continues its three-match homestand Saturday afternoon when it plays host to Conference USA foe and 35th-ranked Old Dominion at 1 p.m.