March 4, 2012
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - For the fifth straight match, 36th-ranked Cristina Stancu won in straight sets, but the Maryland women's tennis team fell short losing 4-3 to Virginia Tech Sunday at the Tennis Center at College Park.
The No. 48 Terps (6-5, 0-2) started the afternoon strong sweeping the Hokies in doubles play. The 25th-ranked tandem of junior Ana Belzunce and sophomore Welma Luus rolled past Shannon Betts and Courtney Rauscher, 8-4.
At No. 2 doubles, Stancu and junior Vroni Van Berlo won their fifth consecutive match defeating Martha Blakely and Carol Kahoun to clinch the doubles point for Maryland.
Maryland carried the momentum into singles play. Belzunce topped Isel Martinez-Marcos, 6-0, 6-1, and 36th-ranked Stancu defeated Blakely in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1 to put the Terps up 3-0.
But the match came down to No. 6 singles after Virginia Tech picked up wins at No. 3, 4 and 5 singles. Freshman Mikele Irazusta, winner of five consecutive matches at the No. 6 spot, dropped the first set to Kahoun, 6-4. She then fought back to win the second set in a tiebreaker before losing a hard-fought tiebreaker in the third set.
At No. 3, Luus won the first set against Betts before dropping the next two, 6-3, 6-3. Van Berlo lost the first set at the No. 4 position to Raucher before rallying to take the second, 6-2, to force a third set. Raucher took the final frame, 6-2.
Jordan Hansbrough suffered a similar fate at the No. 5 spot, losing her first set to Emily Lauten before winning the next one, 6-4. Lauten then tied the match at three for the Hokies with a 6-3 victory in the third set.
The Terps play host to USF Sunday, March 11 at 11 a.m. at the Tennis Center at College Park.
Virginia Tech 4, #48 Maryland 3
1. #36 Cristina Stancu (MD) def. Martha Blakely (VT) 6-3, 6-1
2. Ana Belzunce (MD) def. Isel Martinez-Marcos (VT) 6-0, 6-1
3. Shannon Betts (VT) def. Welma Luus (MD) 2-6, 6-3, 6-3
4. Courtney Raucher (VT) def. Vroni Van Berlo (MD) 6-4, 2-6, 6-2
5. Emily Lauten (VT) def. Jordan Hansbrough (MD) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
6. Carol Kahoun (VT) def. Mikele Irazusta (MD) 6-4, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (4)
1. #25 Belzunce/Luus (MD) def. Betts/Rauscher (VT) 8-4
2. Stancu/Van Berlo (MD) def. Blakely/Kahoun (VT) 8-4
3. Irazusta/Hansbrough (MD) def. Lauten/Martinez-Marcos (VT) 9-8 (5)
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (2,1,3,4,5,6)