March 19, 2012
ROCK HILL, S.C.- The ladies of the Marshall University tennis team came out as 4-3 victors in a closely contested match with the Winthrop University Eagles on Monday, winning their first road match since February 18 to improve to 8-6 for the spring season.
The memories of a three match losing skid at the end of February have all but been erased with the Thundering Herd now riding a five match winning streak that dates back to the March 2 victory over Liberty.
Marshall knew it had its work cut out for it when it entered the Winthrop showdown to face a team that has proven tough for many an opponent this season, but fought hard to dig out a win that will give the team some much-needed breathing room above .500 as it works its way towards the final stretch of the spring.
The Herd began the match in doubles play and snatched the first point with wins by Dominika Zaprazna and Maria Voscekova, and Karli Timko and Kristina Koprcina. The former pair fought hard to win 9-8 over Winthrop’s Alkema and Garcia, while Timko and Koprcina came back from 4-1 down to seal it with an 8-5 victory over the Eagles’ Gunayso and Aguado.
Singles play didn’t prove as easy for Marshall, but steady play from No. 3 Ellie Ball, No. 4 Kara Kucin, and No. 6 Karli Timko saw the Herd clinch enough points for the overall win. Ball battled back to win 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 over Winthrop’s Herrera for her seventh singles win of the season. Kucin, too fought back from a set down to win 3-6, 6-2, 7-5, and Timko made quick work of Aguado with a straight-set 6-1, 6-0 victory.
The win avenges the Herd’s loss to the Eagles in Huntington last season and pulls the Marshall squad ahead 2-1 in the all-time series.
“They fought hard, and fought from behind a lot today,” said Marshall head coach John Mercer of his team. “It’s a good sign, though, that we were able to stay in it and play well enough to win at the end. I thought Kara and Ellie did a great job coming back from a set down to win their singles matches, and Karli played well all day. We’re looking forward to what will hopefully be another win against East Carolina on Wednesday. We want to make it six wins in a row.”
Indeed, the Herd will have just one day of rest as it prepares to battle Conference USA foe East Carolina at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday in Greeneville, N.C. Marshall is 2-0 all-time against the Pirates.