HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- With the score tied at 3-all, sophomore Carol Elizabeth Kerman came from behind for a 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 win versus Shannon Hanley at flight six as Furman stunned Penn State, 4-3, Saturday, at the Huntington Tennis Club in Huntington, W.Va.
The victory marks the Paladins' first over a Power 5 team since the 2008 season, when Furman defeated Alabama, 6-1. With the win, Furman improves to 9-1 and extends its winning streak to six matches, while the Nittany Lions fall to 5-2.
Penn State's Gabby O'Gorman and Olivia Rohrbacher posted a quick 6-1 victory over freshman Julia Adams and junior Katarina Kozarov, but the Paladins roared back as rookie Taylor Melville and Carol Elizabeth Kerman outlasted Shannon Hanley and Samantha Smith, 7-6(9), at flight three to set up a decisive flight two contest. Freshman Madison Dillon and Katty Weymouth held off Frederikke Svarre and Chelsea Sawyer, 7-5, to give Furman the opening point.
The Nittany Lions took a 2-1 lead in singles as Svarre beat Dillon, 6-3, 6-1, at number five, and Sawyer pushed past Adams, 7-5, 6-4, at flight three. Melville defeated Smith, 7-5, 6-4, at number four to tie the match at 2-apiece, but Penn State regained the advantage, 3-2, with O'Gorman's 7-5, 7-5 defeat of 33rd-ranked Kozarov at number one. Weymouth registered a 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 win versus Rohrbacher at flight two to tie the match, setting up the decisive flight six match-up.
"What a battle," said Furman head coach Adam Herendeen. "We were in a big hole in both doubles and singles, and not playing our best, but we just kept fighting back at every spot. Today was a big step for our program against a very strong Penn State team, and I am really proud our girls."
Furman (9-1) continues its road swing next weekend when the Paladins travel to Murfreesboro, Tenn., to face Middle Tennessee State Saturday at 10 a.m.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
Furman 4, Penn State 3
Feb 16, 2019 at Huntington, W.Va. (Huntington Tennis Club)
1. Gabby O'Gorman (PSU) def. #33 Katarina Kozarov (FUR) 7-5, 7-5
2. Katty Weymouth (FUR) def. Olivia Rohrbacher (PSU) 6-4, 2-6, 6-3
3. Chelsea Sawyer (PSU) def. Julia Adams (FUR) 7-5, 6-4
4. Taylor Melville (FUR) def. Samantha Smith (PSU) 7-5, 6-4
5. Frederikke Svarre (PSU) def. Madison Dillon (FUR) 6-3, 6-1
6. Carol Eliz. Kerman (FUR) def. Shannon Hanley (PSU) 5-7, 6-3, 6-1
3. Taylor Melville/Carol Eliz. Kerman (FUR) def. Shannon Hanley/Samantha Smith (PSU) 7-6 (11-9)
Penn State 5-2
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (5,3,4,1,2,6)