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Furman Tops ETSU, 5-2, To Remain Unbeaten In SoCon

Katarina Kozarov celebrates a point.
Katarina Kozarov

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- The Furman women's tennis team topped East Tennessee State, 5-2, Saturday at the Mickel Tennis Center in Greenville, S.C., to remain unbeaten in Southern Conference play.  With the win, the Paladins clinch at least a share of the SoCon regular season title and extend their winning streak to 12 matches. 

The Paladins, who have won 15 of their last 16 matches, captured all three doubles matches to claim the opening point.  Senior Ansley Speaks and junior Aryn Greene teamed up for a 6-4 victory over Marina Espana and Ioanna Markesini in the top-seeded match-up, and freshman Danni Vines and sophomore Katty Weymouth beat Alory Pereira and Yi Chi Ma, 6-4, at flight two.  In the third-seeded contest, senior Blair Martin and rookie Katarina Kozarov downed Jayde Viccars and Melissa Esguerra, 7-5.

The Bucs tied the score at 1-1 when Esguerra posted a 6-1, 6-2 advantage over freshman Hannah Ferrett at flight five, but the Paladins answered with wins at flights six and one to take a 3-1 lead.  Greene beat Viccars, 6-2, 6-1, at flight six, and Speaks made quick work of Markesini at number one, winning 6-1, 6-0.

ETSU's Espana held on for a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Weymouth at flight two to cut the deficit to 3-2, but Kozarov clinched the Paladin win at flight four, beating Chi Ma, 6-3, 6-4.  Vines came from behind to down Pereira, 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-6) at number three to grab the final point for Furman.

"I am so proud of how our girls competed today," said Furman head coach Adam Herendeen.  "ETSU played a very good match and made us work for everything.  We got off to a slow start in the doubles but were able to control our emotions and find a way through in all three spots and that made a big difference.  Our girls have worked so hard and they deserve all the credit for this win.  We will enjoy it today and then get back to work to get ready for Western Carolina and the conference tournament. "

Furman (19-5, 6-0 SoCon) will conclude the regular season Wednesday when the Paladins entertain Western Carolina at 3 p.m. at the Mickel Tennis Center.

Furman 5, East Tennessee State 2
Apr 08, 2017 at Greenville, S.C. (Mickel Tennis Center) 

Singles competition

1. Ansley Speaks (FUR) def. Ioanna Markesini (ETSU) 6-1, 6-0

2. Marina Espana (ETSU) def. Katty Weymouth (FUR) 6-2, 7-5

3. Danni Vines (FUR) def. Alory Pereira (ETSU) 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-6)

4. Katarina Kozarov (FUR) def. Yi Chi Ma (ETSU) 6-3, 6-4

5. Melissa Esguerra (ETSU) def. Hannah Ferrett (FUR) 6-1, 6-2

6. Aryn Greene (FUR) def. Jayde Viccars (ETSU) 6-2, 6-1

Doubles competition

1. Ansley Speaks/Aryn Greene (FUR) def. Marina Espana/Ioanna Markesini (ETSU) 6-4

2. Danni Vines/Katty Weymouth (FUR) def. Alory Pereira/Yi Chi Ma (ETSU) 6-4

3. Blair Martin/Katarina Kozarov (FUR) def. Jayde Viccars/Melissa Esguerra (ETSU) 7-5

Match Notes

Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (5,6,1,2,4,3)