RALEIGH, N.C. – The NC State women’s tennis team swept all three doubles matches, and followed that with six-straight singles victories to take down UNC Greensboro, 7-0, Thursday evening in the J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center.
The Wolfpack picked up a quick doubles win on court two, where sophomores Elisha Hande and Nicole Martinez improved their record as a team to 2-0 with an 8-2 win over Annette Rios and Kayla Gammie. Senior Chloe Smith and sophomore Sophie Nelsonfollowed up with an 8-6 victory over Dilara Yurtkuran and Stephanie Falcon in the No. 3 spot to clinch the doubles point and give NC State a 1-0 lead in the match.
On court one, the duo comprised of senior Tatiana Illova and junior Joelle Kissell fell behind, 6-3, to Alex Whitehead and Nitooli Wilkins, but fought back to win the next three games and tie the match at 6-6. Trailing 7-6 and facing two match points, Illova and Kissell responded to take the next two games and grab an 8-7 lead, before the Spartans forced a tie-breaker to decide the match. The Wolfpack went on to take the tie-breaker, 7-4, win the match, 9-8, and complete the doubles sweep.
Illova would keep the momentum going playing in the No. 4 singles match, as she notched a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Rios. Ranked 33rd in the nation in singles, Kissell extended NC State’s lead to 3-0 in the match with a hard-fought 7-5, 6-3 win in the No. 1 spot.
In her dual match debut, freshman Rachael James-Baker fought through one of the toughest singles matches of the evening after dropping the first set of No. 3 singles, 6-1. The Plantation, Fla., native displayed great composure in winning the second set, 6-4, before grabbing a 6-3 third-set victory to clinch the overall match for the Wolfpack.
Hande, playing in the No. 5 spot, notched a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Falcon for her team-leading 11th win of the season, and Martinez grinded through a tough three-set battle to take down Yurtkuran, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2, and extended the Pack’s lead to 6-0 over UNCG.
Smith, playing in the No. 6 spot, dropped the first set, 6-1, but responded with a 6-4 second-set victory to force a decisive third set. The Naples, Fla., native went on to win the tie-breaker, 10-2, to complete the NC State shutout.
The Wolfpack will embark on its first road matches of the season next Friday, Feb. 15 at 9:30 a.m., when the team meets Charleston Southern. The squad will then take on College of Charleston on Sunday, Feb. 17, where first serve is scheduled for noon.
NC State 7, UNC Greensboro 0
1. #33 Joelle Kissell (NCSU) def. Niltooli Wilkins (UNCG) 7-5, 6-3
2. Nicole Martinez (NCSU) def. Dilara Yurtkuran (UNCG) 6-2, 5-7, 6-2
3. Rachael James-Baker (NCSU) def. Alex Whitehead (UNCG) 1-6, 6-4, 6-3
4. Tatiana Illova (NCSU) def. Annette Rios (UNCG) 6-2, 6-3
5. Elisha Hande (NCSU) def. Stephanie Falcon (UNCG) 6-0, 6-2
6. Chloe Smith (NCSU) def. Soumeya Anane (UNCG) 1-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-2)
1. Joelle Kissell/Tatiana Illova (NCSU) def. Alex Whitehead/Niltooli Wilkins (UNCG) 9-8 (7-4)
2. Nicole Martinez/Elisha Hande (NCSU) def. Annette Rios/Kayla Gammie (UNCG) 8-2
3. Sophie Nelson/Chloe Smith (NCSU) def. Dilara Yurtkuran/Stephanie Falcon (UNCG) 8-6
UNC Greensboro 0-2
NC State 2-0
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (4,1,3,2,5,6)