The women's tennis team traveled down the I-90 on Saturday to battle Syracuse for Western New York supremacy. The team returned without the victory that it desired.
After opening their spring campaign with wins over St. John's and Pittsburgh, the Bulls (2-2) fell to state rival Syracuse (6-1, 2-0 Big East), 6-1. The loss is Buffalo's first since play resumed for the spring semester.
Head coach Kathy Twist was pleased with the effort that the team showed against a very strong opponent.
"We competed really well out there," Twist said. "Syracuse is one of the stronger teams in the Big East, but we battled and had a couple of close three-set matches."
The Bulls earned the first victory in doubles play when senior Diana Popescu and freshman Miranda Podlas defeated Syracuse's Emily Harman and Maddie Kobelt, 8-6.
The team was unable to repeat its performance in the following matches. Sophomore Tamara Markovic and freshman Marta Stoyanova lost 8-1 to Simone Kalhorn and Alessondra Parra, while senior Aleksandra Petrova and sophomore Shelby Bates were defeated by the Orange's pair of Jacquelynn Tang and Aleah Marrow, 8-4.
The Bulls did not have much success in singles play, but they refused to go down without a fight, taking three of the matches into the third set. Sophomore Kira Golenko earned Buffalo's only point in the fourth singles match when she defeated Aleah Marrow 7-6, 3-6, 10-7. Popescu and Podlas both went three sets in their matches, but fell short of victory.
Twist knows that the team will need to improve if it wants to be successful down the stretch.
"We need to be a little more aggressive with our play out there," Twist said. "[We have to have] quicker footwork and really start attacking the short ball. That will make a huge difference."
The Bulls are back in action on Friday when they travel to Piscataway, N.J. to face off against Rutgers (3-2) at 1 p.m.