By: Jordan Cope, Assistant Sports Editor
On day one of the USTA/ITA Atlantic Regionals in Lynchburg, Virginia, sophomores Lucy Williams and Yevgeniya Shusterman fell to Liberty’s Evangenline Crist and Valerie Thong 8-0.
“They weren’t happy with the way that they played,” Head Coach Doug Neagle said. “The first three games all went to deuce and they happened to lose the first game. After that, the wheels started to come off.”
Williams also competed in consolation singles play on Friday, but fell to Temple’s Alina Abdurakhimova 6-4, 6-4.
“I thought she played well, the girl from Temple is a very strong player,” Neagle said. “It was a hard fought battle, the girls competed hard and showed good sportsmanship and she thought she played pretty well too.”
While Friday didn’t go Williams’ way, she earned a 7-6 (1), 2-6, 10-6 win against Old Dominion’s Marijana Novakovic on Saturday.
“What was strange about that match was she wasn’t happy with the way that she played, but as we say in tennis, she found a way,” Neagle said. “That’s what we always talk about, you can’t control how well you are going to play but you can control your effort and she gutted that match out.”
Shusterman was also in singles play on Saturday and earned a 6-1, 4-6, 10-7 victory over Navy’s Claudia Mackenzie.
“Mackenzie from Navy is a great athlete, she can slide on the hard courts which isn’t an easy thing to do,” Neagle said. “But that win was a great confidence booster.”
The Tigers ended their fall season with the tournament, but will begin their spring season on Jan. 29 at George Mason.
“This was the toughest fall schedule that we have every played to be honest,” Neagle said. “We played really strong teams with really strong players, so I think that our girls are really going to build from this fall.”