WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Behind the strong play of its seniors, the Maryland women’s tennis team defeated Purdue 5-2 in its Big Ten opener.
For the fourth consecutive match, Maryland got off to a fast start and claimed the doubles point. After Arnelle Sullivan and Katsiaryna Yemelyanenka lost at third doubles, Ekaterina Tour and Caroline Williams tied things up and won 6-3 at second doubles.
All eyes then turned to Maryland’s dynamic duo at first doubles: Kristina Hovsepyan and Alexandra Stanova. The seniors fell behind early, but rallied back and knocked off Andjela Djokovic and Nicole Robinson, 7-6. Maryland entered singles play up 1-0 for the fourth time this spring.
Ekaterina Tour continued to dominate in singles, and picked up a 6-1, 6-0 win at third singles. Her win gave the Terps an early 2-0 lead in the match, and her 4-0 record this season is the best on the team.
After Arnelle Sullivan fell at second singles, Stanova picked up another point for the Terps, with a 7-5, 6-1 win over Nicole Robinson. With Maryland needing one more point for the win, Hovsepyan knocked off Caitlin Calkins at fifth singles to clinch the win for the Terps.
Cassandre Thebault also picked up a win at fourth singles, giving Maryland a 5-2 victory.
"I'm proud of our fight and effort today against a good Purdue team," head coach Daria Panova said. "We played great in doubles, fighting off six match points at first doubles to clinch. Purdue had great starts in singles and we had our backs against the wall. We did a good job of fighting back and staying disciplined. Our upperclassmen did a great job today taking care of business in both singles and doubles. Overall a very good team effort and win."
Maryland is now 5-0 on the season, which is its second-best start since 1998. The Terps will return to College Park for their next match, which will be against Penn on February 25. Opening serve is set for 1 p.m.
1. Hovsepyan/Stanova (UMD) def. Djokovic/Robinson (PU), 7-6
2. Tour/Williams (UMD) def. Calkins/Ruedas (PU), 6-3
3. Baquerizo/Davila (PU) def. Sullivan/Yemelyanenka (UMD), 6-0
1. Alexandra Stanova (UMD) def. Nicole Robinson (PU), 7-5,
2. Andjela Djokovic (PU) def. Arnelle Sullivan (UMD), 6-2, 6-4
3. Ekaterina Tour (UMD) def. Marta Ruedas (PU), 6-1, 6-0
4. Cassandre Thebault (UMD) def. Rafaella Baquerizo (PU), 3-6, 6-4, 1-0
5. Kristina Hovsepyan (UMD) def. Caitlin Calkins (PU), 7-6, 6-4
6. Natalia Davila (PU) def. Kate Yemelyanenka (UMD), 6-2, 6-2
Order of Finish
Singles: 3, 2, 1, 6, 5*, 4
Doubles: 3, 2, 1