DETROIT, Mich. - The SVSU women's tennis team began its weekend road trip on Saturday (Oct. 15) with a critical GLIAC matchup against the Warriors. For the first time since 2003, the Cards posted a victory over their foes from Detroit, claiming a 5-4 decision on the road.
The victory gives SV five consecutive league wins, which is also the most in at least 13 seasons for GLIAC matches.
The Cardinals grabbed a 2-1 advantage after coming storming out of the gate in doubles play, as SV notched wins at the no. 1 and no. 2 positions after controlling both matches. Ana Pico Garcia and Shea Donahue posted an 8-3 win in the top spot while Izabella Ismailova and Danielle Slonac got the second win with an 8-1 score. At no. 3, Abigail Shonk and Taylor McLaughlin battled in a back and forth affair, but would eventually fall by an 8-4 mark.
In singles, McLaughlin cruised to a 6-2, 6-0 victory in her no. 5 singles slot and Donahue put the visitors up 4-2 overall after a 7-6, 6-2 win at no. 3 singles.
With three matches left out on the courts, SVSU needed just one victory to clinch the league road decision.
The score would draw closer at 4-3 after Ismailova lost a narrow 6-4, 7-5 decision at the no. 1 singles spot. In the two remaining matches, both Slonac and Garcia would fight back from being down a set to force a third and keep the match alive for Saginaw Valley.
Garcia's match at no. 2 singles would end first, culminating in a 5-4 overall win for SVSU after she posted 6-1 decisions in the second and third frames to come back from the 4-6 defeat in the first for the three-set win. Slonac would eventually fall in three sets, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6 at her no. 4 singles spot.
From Head Coach Jenn Boehm
"When I started this job, we were losing to Wayne State 9-0 or 8-1. Last year, we had our closest loss to them (6-3) and had a very similar, down to the wire finish. The difference this year, and what allowed us to earn this win, was the tremendous belief we have in ourselves and our teammates. We played hard, inspired, and never gave up even when we faced come uphill battles head-to-head. The way we eleveated our doubles performances and pulled-off some great singles wins showed that we are a very tough team to beat. We are excited for the opportunity to go after it again versus Hillsdale tomorrow!"
Saginaw Valley, now the winners of five straight league matches, continue GLIAC action on Sunday (Oct. 16) with a contest on the road at Hillsdale College. The 6-3 Cardinals will begin at 1:00 p.m. against the 4-5 Chargers, who are coming off an 8-1 home defeat at the hands of Northwood University. SVSU has clinched a spot in the 2016 GLIAC Tournament and is currently in fourth place in the league standings with just two more contests to play.
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