Bulls best West Virginia in women’s tennis
Published: Sunday, February 3, 2013
Updated: Sunday, February 3, 2013 18:02
On a Sunday most known for food, beer and football, the women’s tennis team toppled its opposition.
It was the first-ever victory for the women’s tennis program over a Big 12 opponent, as the Bulls (3-0) took to the hard courts of the Miller Tennis Center and defeated West Virginia (1-3).
Buffalo got off to a good start in doubles play and carried the momentum through to the singles matches, ultimately taking the match from the Mountaineers by a final score of 6-1.
“They played wonderful; they really stepped up today,” said head coach Kristen Ortman. “They were mentally more disciplined and physically stronger. They have been putting in a lot of work and it showed today. They outlasted and they won the match.”
The first doubles team, consisting of juniors Miranda Podlas and Tanvi Shah, continued to play well as the pair picked up a win. In the eighth game, Podlas chased down a looping lob shot to keep the rally alive. Shah sent home the winner later in the rally to seal the game, as they took the match 8-3.
“We knew that we were going to have to come out really ready today and play 100 percent because they were a good team,” Shah said. “I think we were really prepared. We knew we had to be disciplined and work towards every point and eventually we won the match.”
The third doubles team also picked up a victory for the Bulls. Sophomore Laura Fernandez and junior Marta Stoyanova took down their opponents in convincing fashion, 8-0.
Emily Mathis and Audrey Woodland of West Virginia gave the Mountaineers their only doubles win of the morning, defeating senior Tamara Markovic and junior Anamaria Candanoza 8-5.
Singles play commenced soon after doubles and Shah continued to roll. She got off to a quick start and didn’t look back, taking the No. 1 singles match 6-1, 6-0.
Podlas also carried her doubles momentum into her No. 2 singles match. After a first set that went into tie break, Podlas rallied in the second set and came out with the straight-set victory 7-6 (7-4), 6-1.
Buffalo won five out of its six singles matches, as Fernandez, Markovic and Candanoza all got wins for the Bulls. The Bulls’ only singles loss came at the hands of Vivian Tsui, as she took down Stoyanova 6-4, 6-1.
“I think it is a big confidence booster for us,” Shah said. “We have been playing good teams and we have been beating all of them. It’s very important to keep going and make progress because we want to win the [Mid-American Conference] eventually.”
The win over West Virginia keeps Buffalo’s record unblemished in the 2012-13 season.
“It’s a long season and it’s a process, but this certainly is a great start,” Ortman said.
The women’s tennis team will be back in action next weekend as the Bulls travel to the greater Boston area to face Harvard (2-2) on Saturday and Boston University (3-1) on Sunday.