Herd Drops C-USA Match to No. 35 ODU
Marshall started strong, but failed to sustain momentum
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – After a strong start to doubles play, the Marshall women’s tennis team failed to sustain its early momentum, falling to 35th-ranked Old Dominion in a Conference USA match, 7-0, Saturday afternoon at the Huntington Tennis Club.
“We did a good job going up early in the doubles matches, especially at No. 1, where we won, 6-0,” head coach John Mercer said. “Unfortunately, we dug ourselves into some holes later in the match and a good team like Old Dominion will take advantage and make you pay for your mistakes.”
Marshall quickly built early leads at both the Nos. 1 and 3 doubles positions, as Stephanie Smith and Maddie Silver won, 6-0, while Brooke Lashway and Ana Marhuenda went up, 4-1. ODU made a swift comeback, winning the match at No. 2, 6-4, and taking the last five games of the No. 3 match to clinch the doubles point.
The Herd once again built early singles leads on multiple courts, as Stephanie Smith, Maddie Silver and Anna Smith all had first-set leads late in their respective matches. Silver won the first set of her match but lost in a third-set tiebreak to Yulia Starodubtseva, 3-6, 6-1, 1-0 (10-6). Stephanie Smith built a 4-0 lead in her match but was defeated by Holly Hutchinson in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2. Anna Smith built a 4-2 lead in the first set of her match but was defeated by Victoria Olivarez, 6-4, 6-4. Marija Bogicevic fell in straight sets to Nataliia Vlasova, 6-2, 6-4. Ana Marhuenda played a closely-contested match but was defeated by Louie McLelland, 6-3, 7-5.
“We just have to be ready to go right from the start tomorrow and have to sustain that energy for the duration of the match,” Mercer said.
The Herd has a quick turnaround as it plays the final match of its three-match homestand Sunday against VCU at 11 a.m. The match is expected to take place indoors at the Huntington Tennis Club unless the weather is expected to be above 50 degrees for most of the match.