WEST POINT, N.Y. – UConn senior Yelyzaveta Pletnyeva (Vinnitsa, Ukraine) battled her way to a three-set victory in the deciding match of Sunday’s match-up with Stony Brook to deliver the Huskies a 4-3 victory at Army West Point’s Lichtenberg Tennis Center.
The Huskies improved to 3-1 with spring and are 4-2 overall in dual match play this season. “This was an exciting 4-3 win today,” stated head coach Glenn Marshall. “Our matches with Stony Brook are always close battles, and this one was no exception.”
“We started off winning the doubles point, continuing our solid doubles play for both of this weekend’s matches,” commented Marshall.
Junior Jacqueline Lazaro (Largo, Fla.) and sophomore Cassie Chung (Vancouver, British Columbia) opened doubles play with a 6-1 win at No. 3 over Ana Rodriguez and Anna-Katherine Hierl. The Huskies clinched the opening point at No. 1 where Pletnyeva and junior Jacquelyn Fitz-Randolph (Tampa, Fla.) beat Elizabeth Tsvetko and Maria Pinto Riberio, 6-3. The duo are now 3-0 playing together.
“Moving on to the six singles matches, we lost the first set on four courts. We had to dig in deep, really trust the process, and grind things out,” said Marshall. “Zaina and Fitzy battled to victory, and that gave us a 3-0 team lead.”
Senior Zaina Zaki (West Chester, Pa.) got a 6-2, 6-4 win over Nolwenn Cardoso at No. 5 followed by Fitz-Randolph posting a three-set win at No. 2 over Ester Chikvashvili. After dropping the opening set, 6-4, she rebounded to win 6-2 and 6-1.
The Seawolves rang off three-straight singles wins to even the match up at 3-3. The No. 1 singles spot would decide it with Pletnyeva and Tsvetkov going three sets. “Lizzy was deep in the third set when the other players finished, and she was in a back and forth dogfight. Finally on her fourth match point opportunity, she clinched the match for the victory. It was a great finish, and both Lizzy and Fitzy led the way with wins in both singles and doubles.”
Pletnyeva won the opening set 7-6 (8), dropped the second, 7-5, and battled to a 6-4 win in the third, her 15th singles win on the season. She improved to 5-1 in dual matches.