- The NC State women's tennis team picked up its first victory of the 2013 season, defeating East Carolina, 7-0, Thursday evening in the J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center.
The Wolfpack received an early lift in doubles play, as the sophomore combination ofElisha Hande and Nicole Martinez eased their way to an 8-2 win over Yilian Zhang and Danielle Terpko in the No. 2 spot. The Pirates would respond on court one however, where Neena Wanko and Nicole LaDuca earned an early break against junior Joelle Kissell and senior Tatiana Illova, and held on to take the match, 8-6.
With the doubles point hanging in the balance, all eyes were on court three where the NC State duo comprised of senior Chloe Smith and sophomore Sophie Nelson were knotted in a 6-6 tie with ECU's Melis Tanik and Dana Gray. Smith and Nelson would break the Pirates' serve to grab a 7-6 advantage, before holding serve and closing out the match, 8-6, and giving the Wolfpack a 1-0 lead in the overall match.
In singles action, the Pack continued to apply pressure to ECU, as Kissell, ranked No. 33 nationally, cruised to a quick, 6-0, 6-0 victory over Zhang in the No. 1 spot to push NC State's lead to 2-0 in the overall match.
Playing in the No. 4 spot, Illova cruised to a 6-1 first-set win over LaDuca. LaDuca would counter and take a 5-4 lead in the second set, but Illova staged a three-game rally from that point to claim the set, 7-5, seal the straight-set victory and extend NC State's lead to 3-0.
Hande picked up right where she left off in the fall season, easing her way to a 6-0, 6-0 victory to clinch the match and give the Wolfpack a 4-0 lead. The win was Hande's 10th of the season and improved her record to 10-5.
Junior Christy Sipes found herself in a battle on court two against Wanko, where Wanko claimed the first set, 6-4. Sipes responded and won the second set, 7-5, before the match moved into a third-set, 10-point tie-breaker. Sipes won the tie-break, 10-6, to give NC State a 5-0 advantage in the overall match.
Smith, playing in the No. 6 spot, had no trouble in her contest, notching a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Gray, while Martinez, playing in the No. 3 spot, dropped a tough first set, 6-4. Martinez would battle back however, winning the second set, 7-5, before outlasting Tanik, 12-10, in the third-set tie-break.
NC State (1-0) will return to action next Thursday, Feb. 7, when it hosts UNC Greensboro. First serve is scheduled for 4 p.m., in the J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center.
NC State 7, East Carolina 0
1. #33 Joelle Kissell (NCSU) def. Yilian Zhang (ECU) 6-0, 6-0
2. Christy Sipes (NCSU) def. Neena Wanko (ECU) 4-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10-6)
3. Nicole Martinez (NCSU) def. Melis Tanik (ECU) 4-6, 7-5, 1-0 (12-10)
4. Tatiana Illova (NCSU) def. Nicole LaDuca (ECU) 6-1, 7-5
5. Elisha Hande (NCSU) def. Danielle Terpko (ECU) 6-0, 6-0
6. Chloe Smith (NCSU) def. Dana Gray (ECU) 6-2, 6-1
1. Neena Wanko/Nicole LaDuca (ECU) def. Joelle Kissell/Tatiana Illova (NCSU) 8-6
2. Elisha Hande/Nicole Martinez (NCSU) def. Yilian Zhang/Danielle Terpko (ECU) 8-2
3. Chloe Smith/Sophie Nelson (NCSU) def. Melis Tanik/Dana Gray (ECU) 8-6
East Carolina 1-1
NC State 1-0
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (1,4,5,2,6,3)