By: Billy Owens, Staff Writer
Towson battled through five home matches this week, winning three but giving up two. The team earned victories over University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Hofstra and Morgan State, but fell to UNC Wilmington and Georgetown.
This completed a six-match homestand that began with the team’s historic victory over College of Charleston last Sunday, March 25.
“It was a pretty good homestand that ended on a positive note,” Interim Head Coach Jamie Peterson said.
This past Sunday afternoon, Towson earned two victories. The first was a 6-1 win over Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) opponent Hofstra.
The Pride won the opening doubles point by securing victories in two of the three doubles matches. Sarah Catherine Herndon and Jasmine King defeated the Tigers No. 1 pairing of A.J. Gomer and Ren van Oorschodt 7-5, while Carmen Pestano and Giulia Leone beat the No. 2 pairing of Lucy Williams and Lucy Gloninger 6-2. The Tigers’ No. 3 pairing of Nicole Shakhnazarova and Jane Shusterman topped Michal Kaplan and Disha Yellayi 6-0.
In singles play, Towson turned the tide and swept all six matches to take overall victory. No. 1 Shakhnazarova beat King 6-1, 6-1, No. 2 Gomer defeated Herndon 6-2, 6-1, and No. 3 Williams bested Kaplan 6-3, 6-2. No. 4 Barbora Vasilkova defeated Pestano 6-0, 7-5, No. 5 Gloninger beat Yellayi 6-2, 4-6, [10-8], and No. 6 Sophie Lesage defeated Leone 6-1, 6-0.
“They’ve consistently been able to come back and either win the match or give ourselves a chance to win, especially against the better teams where we really need the doubles point,” Peterson said.
Later that afternoon, Towson won its second match of the day by defeating UMES 7-0.
The Tigers swept the opening doubles point, as No. 1’s Williams and Gloninger beat Alese Brown and Michal Kittrell 6-1 and No. 2’s Shakhnazarova and Shusterman defeated Tearraney Peak and Jayla Gilliam 6-0. No. 3’s van Oorschodt and Lesage won their doubles flight by default.
Towson swept the singles for the second straight match, only dropping one game throughout all six matches. No. 1 Shakhnazarova bested Melequa King 6-0, 6-1, No. 2 Williams defeated Brown 6-0, 6-0, and No. 3 Gomer beat Kittrell 6-0, 6-0. No. 4 Gloninger defeated Peak 6-0, 6-0, No. 5 Lesage beat Gilliam 6-0, 6-0, and No. 6 Shusterman won by default.
Saturday afternoon, Towson suffered a heartbreaking 4-3 defeat to CAA conference rival UNC Wilmington. This was Towson’s second 4-3 loss in a row and fourth of the season. Towson lost the opening doubles point in all four of those losses.
The Seahawks opened play by sweeping the doubles point. Sabrina Barisano and Madara Straume defeated No. 1’s Gomer and van Oorschodt 6-2, Alix Theodossiou and Annika Sillanpaa defeated No. 2’s Williams and Gloninger 6-2, and Xandra Fougner and Laura Gomez defeated No. 3’s Vasilkova and Shusterman 6-2.
Towson was unable to overcome the early deficit as UNC Wilmington took three of the singles matches to clinch the victory. Sillanpaa beat No. 2 Gomer 6-2, 6-3, Fougner defeated No. 4 van Oorschodt 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, and Celeste Matute beat No. 6 Shusterman 6-4, 6-2. Towson’s three singles wins came when No. 1 Shakhnazarova defeated Straume 6-3, 6-1, No. 3 Williams topped Theodossiou 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, and No. 5 Gloninger beat Barisano 7-6 (5), 6-7 (3), 6-4.
“It was almost too little too late,” Peterson said. “We had a mad rush at the end after losing the doubles point.”
Thursday evening, Towson fell to local opponent Georgetown 4-3.
The Tigers fell behind early as the Hoyas took two of the three matches to claim the opening doubles point. Sydney Goodson and Risa Nakagawa defeated No. 2’s Williams and Gloninger 6-2, while Sara Swift and Madeline Foley beat No. 3’s Shusterman and Lesage 7-5. The Tigers’ No. 1 doubles team of Gomer and van Oorschodt defeated Victoire Saperstein and Casey Marx 7-5.
Georgetown went on to win three singles matches to clinch overall victory. Swift beat No. 1 Shakhnazarova 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-1, Saperstein defeated No. 2 Gomer 7-6 (6), 6-4, and Goodson beat No. 5 van Oorschodt 2-6, 6-2, 6-1. Towson earned three singles wins, as No. 3 Williams routed Nakagawa 6-1, 6-2, No. 4 Vasilkova defeated Cecilia Lynham 6-4, 7-5, and No. 6 Gloninger beat Daphne de Chatellus 6-4, 7-5.
“We were in position to win that doubles point,” Peterson said. “Those little things and changes can determine the outcome of a close match.” Wednesday afternoon, Towson earned a solid 6-1 victory over local rival Morgan State.
The Tigers swept all three doubles matches to take the opening doubles point. No. 1’s Gomer and van Oorschodt edged Kayla Price and Katia Jordan 7-5, No. 2’s Williams and Gloninger defeated Yvonne Peters-Washington and Dana Santiago 6-2, and No. 3’s Lesage and Shusterman beat Danielle Thompson and Chloe Kabamba 6-1.
Towson stayed strong in the singles, taking five of the six matches. No. 1 Shakhnazarova handled Thompson 6-1, 6-1, No. 3 Williams defeated Kabamba 7-6 (3), 6-1, No. 4 van Oorschodt beat Peters-Washington 6-1, 6-3, and No. 5 Gloninger bested Santiago 6-1, 6-2. No. 6 Lesage won via a walkover, as her opponent defaulted due to injury before the match. Morgan State earned one win, as Thompson overcame No. 2 Gomer in a third-set match tiebreak, 6-4, 5-7, [10-6].
“We performed well,” Peterson said. “From start to finish it was a solid match.”
Following the past week’s matches, the Tigers record sits at 10-7, including a 2-2 record in CAA conference play.
Towson travels to CAA rival Delaware Wednesday for a 2 p.m. matchup before heading south to face defending CAA championship finalist James Madison Saturday at noon.