Terps Down Penn in Thriller

March 16, 2013

COLLEGE PARK, Md - Freshman Gabriela Srodowski won a decisive third set tiebreak to win her match and give the Maryland women's tennis team a 4-3 victory over the University of Pennsylvania in a thrilling contest at the Tennis Center at College Park Saturday afternoon.

The Terps (5-6, 0-3 ACC) lost at tightly contested doubles point before winning four singles matches to defeat the Quakers (7-2, 0-0 Ivy League). The victory snapped the Terrapins three match losing streak.

"That's what we've been waiting for," head coach Daria Panova said. "I think the team did an amazing job of fighting. It was not a perfect match, but it was perfect energy, perfect fight. I think the freshmen finally learned what college tennis is about."

The Terrapins got off to a flying start in doubles when freshmen Olga and Nataliya Bredikhina dispatched of Jaime Shing-Yapp and Jules Rodin, 8-1, at the No. 2 position. Penn leveled the doubles session at No.3 after Stephanie Do and Alex Ion took down freshman Olga Gaistruk and Srodowski, 8-5.

The Quakers then sealed the doubles point with Sol Eskenazi and Sonya Latycheva's 8-6 victory over Senior Vroni Van Berlo and freshman Sarah Gealer.

In singles, Van Berlo continued her steady play and defeated Eskenazi, 6-1, 6-2, to pull the Terrapins level. Gealer followed her doubles partner's lead, taking care of Yapp-Shing, 6-2, 6-1. The two have been Maryland's steadiest singles players this season, and they did not disappoint, Saturday.

Latycheva's 6-1, 6-4 victory over Gaistruk evened up proceedings before the Bredikhina sisters went 1-1 in the session. Nataliya defeated Katherine Jania, 6-1, 7-6 (7-3), while Olga lost to Do, 4-6, 6-0, 7-5.

That left the match in the hands of Srodowski and Ion. The Terrapin freshman won the first set, 7-5, before dropping the second, 4-6. In the third set, Srodowski served to stay in the match twice, and forced a deciding tiebreak.

In the breaker, the Maryland native kept her nerve, pulling away to win the tiebreak, 7-4, taking the decisive match, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4).

"I tried to tell her to focus on one thing and just not think about too much. Just to play her game and focus on herself," Panova said. "[I told her] It's just like practice; you're just going from side to side

With the overall match victory, the Terrapins improved their record at home to 5-2.

Maryland retakes the court Sunday to take on No. 33 William & Mary. Play is scheduled to begin from the Tennis Center at College Park at noon.

Doubles Competition

#1. Sol Eskenazi/Sonya Latycheva (PENN) defeat Vroni Van Berlo/Sarah Gealer (MD), 8-6

#2 Olga Bredikhina/Nataliya Bredikhina (MD) defeat Jules Rodin/Jaime Yapp-Shing (PENN), 8-1

#3 Stephanie Do/Alex Ion (PENN) defeat Olga Gaistruk/Gabriela Srodowski (MD), 8-5

Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1

Singles Competition

#1. Vroni Van Berlo (MD) defeats Sol Eskenazi (PENN), 6-1, 6-2

#2 Sarah Gealer (MD) defeats Jaime Yapp-Shing (PENN), 6-2, 6-1

#3 Stephanie Do (PENN) defeats Olga Bredikhina (MD), 4-6, 6-0, 7-5

#4 Sonya Latycheva (PENN) defeats Olga Gaistruk (MD), 6-1, 6-4

#5 Gabriela Srodowski (MD) defeats Alex Ion (PENN), 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3)

#6 Nataliya Bredikhina (MD) defeats Katherine Jania (PENN), 6-1, 7-6 (7-4)

Order of Finish: 1, 2, 4, 6, 3, 5