The Sacred Heart University women's tennis team opened the spring portion of its 2013-14 season on Saturday night, falling 4-3 to NJIT at the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center in New Haven, Conn.
All three of the Pioneer points came in singles action, with straight set wins from Paige Olson (Sykesville, Md.) and Taylor Gurda (Middletown, N.Y.). Olson defeated Nathalie Habegger at number four-singles, 6-3, 6-1, while Gurda earned a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Hannelore MacDonald at number-six singles. Nicole Rydzewski (Maspeth, N.Y.) captured the number-five singles match over Carolina Zanotta. She won the first set 6-1, before dropping the second set in a tiebreaker, 5-6 (3), and earned the match win 10-6.
The Pioneers had three close fought losses in the other singles matches. Lindsey Post (Danbury, Conn.), at number-three, captured the first-set 5-6 (1), before Jana Luste posted a 6-4 win in the second set and won the match with a 10-7 edge in the tiebreak. Gabi Kaldan (New Brunswick, N.J.) and Natalia Melibeu had perhaps the most memorable match at number-two singles, as Melibeu won 6-5 (10-8), 6-5 (8-6). Katie DeRienzo (Douglaston, N.Y.) fell 6-5 (4), 6-3, to Ksenia Kuzmenko at number one singles.
NJIT earned 8-2 victories in all three doubles matches, with what proved to be the deciding point.
The Pioneers return to action at Army on January 31st at 7 p.m.
1. Ksenia Kuzmenko/Jana Luste(NJIT) def. Katie DeRienzo/Lindsey Post(SHU) 8-2
2. Carolina Zanotta/Natalia Melibeu(NJIT) def. Gabi Kaldan/Taylor Gurda(SHU) 8-2
3. Nathalie Habegger/Hannelore MacDonald(NJIT) def. Paige Olson/Nicole Rydzewski(SHU) 8-3
1. Ksenia Kuzmenko(NJIT) def. katie Derienzo(SHU) 6-5(4), 6-3
2. Natalia Melibeu (NJIT) def. Gabi Kaldan 6-5(8), 6-5(6)
3. Jana Luste(NJIT) def. Lindsey Post(SHU) 5-6(1), 6-4, 10-7
4. Paige Olson(SHU) def. Nathalie Habegger (NJIT) 6-3, 6-1
5. Nicole Rydzewski (SHU) def. Carolina Zanotta (NJIT) 6-1, 5-6(3), 10-6
6. Taylor Gurda(SHU) def. Hannelore MacDonald(NJIT) 6-2, 6-1