WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - The William and Mary women’s tennis team swept a doubleheader at the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis on Saturday afternoon, downing East Carolina, 7-0, and CAA counterpart James Madison, 6-1. With the victories, the Tribe evened its season ledger at 2-2, while both the Pirates and Dukes dropped their season openers.
W&M startd the day by claiming a hotly-contested doubles point against ECU. Senior Maria Belaya and sophomore Leeza Nemchinov Nemchinov started the Green and Gold off with the early lead thanks to a 6-1 win over Michelle Castro and Nicole La Duca at the top spot. After the Pirates won at the No. 3 spot, the doubles point came down to a tight match at the No. 2 slot. Freshmen Nabila Farah and Mélanie Roy prevailed to clinch the initial point of the match, outlasting ECU’s Maria Storozheva and Dana Gray, 7-6.
Nemchinov and Farah followed with quick wins at the No. 2 and No. 3 singles position, respectively, to stake the Tribe to a 3-0 advantage. Nemchinov won her second straight, upending Castro, 6-2, 6-2, while Farah bounced Emily Groenveld, 6-2, 6-3.
Belaya clinched the Tribe’s first victory of 2014 with a victory over an All-Conference USA player in Melis Tanik at the No. 1 slot. The No. 65-ranked player in the country recorded a 6-2, 6-4 victory over her ECU opponent to up her season ledger to 14-8.
Sophomore Julia Casselbury claimed her second straight dual-match victory, this one coming at the No. 5 spot. She defeated ECU’s Dana Gray, 6-3, 6-2.
Roy and senior Sydney Smith needed three sets, but both pulled out wins to round out the Green and Gold sweep. After dropping the first set, 7-5, to Nicole La Duca, Roy rebounded with a convincing 6-0 win in the second and then controlled the third-set super tiebreaker, 10-5. Smith won the opening set, 6-3, over Elizabeth Zurawel, before the Pirate player took the second, 6-1. The Tribe senior held off her ECU counterpart, 10-8, in the third.
The Green and Gold used the same formula as the morning in winning the double point against James Madison with victories at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions. Belaya and Nemchinov picked up their second win of the day and improved to 2-1 on the year with a convincing 8-2 win over Taylor Pinchoff and Alex Huie at the top position. The Tribe’s rookie tandem of Farah and Roy stepped up again in a big spot, clinching the doubles point for the second time on the day. The Tribe pair bounced Cara Wirth and Sarah Khan, 8-4, at the second position to even their season mark at 2-2.
After JMU won at No. 6 to even the match at one, the Tribe reeled off victories in the top five singles spots to pull out the victory. Playing at the No. 1 position for the first time in her career, Nemchinov made quick work of an All-CAA player in Pinchoff, 6-2, 6-2. It marked the Tribe sophomore’s third-straight win and sixth in her last seven matches as she improved to 12-7 on the year.
Like Nemchinov, Farah too won for the sixth time in her last seven matches to push the Tribe lead to 3-1. The Green and Gold rookie upended Alex Huie, 6-2, 6-1, at the No. 2 position. Farah won her ninth match of the year and improved to 3-1 in doubles competition.
Roy clinched the Tribe’s first CAA win of the year with her second three-set win of the day at the No. 3 post. She won the opening set in a tiebreaker, 7-6, over Emily Bradshaw, before her JMU counterpart claimed the second, 6-1. Roy rolled in the third set, 6-0, to even her season ledger at 9-9.
Casselbury and Smith rounded out the Tribe victory over JMU with wins at the No. 4 and No. 5 slots over All-CAA players from a season ago. Casselbury improved to 3-1 in dual match play with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Jacqueline Palmucci. Smith rallied for a come-from-behind, three-set win over Ruxandra Andriescu. After dropping the first set, 6-2, the Tribe senior ripped off the final two sets, 6-0, 6-3, for her seventh win of the year.
The Tribe returns to action when it travels to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to compete in the ITA Kickoff Weekend, Jan. 25-26. The Green and Gold open competition against the host and No. 11-ranked Alabama at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25, before facing either No. 34 Oklahoma or No. 35 Mississippi on Sunday, Jan. 26.
#40 William and Mary 7, East Carolina 0
No. 1 - #65 Maria Belaya (W&M) def. Melis Tanik (ECU) – 6-2, 6-4
No. 2 - #89 Leeza Nemchinov (W&M) def. Michelle Castro (ECU) – 6-2, 6-2
No. 3 – Nabila Farah (W&M) def. Emily Groenveld (ECU) – 6-2, 6-3
No. 4 – Mélanie Roy (W&M) def. Nicole La Duca (ECU) – 5-7, 6-0, 10-5
No. 5 – Julia Casselbury (W&M) def. Dana Gray (ECU) – 6-3, 6-2
No. 6 – Sydney Smith (W&M) def. Elizabeth Zurawel (ECU) – 6-3, 1-6, 10-8
Finishing Order: 2, 3, 1*, 5, 4, 6
No. 1 – Belaya/Nemchinov (W&M) def. Castro/La Duca (ECU) – 6-1
No. 2 – Farah/Roy (W&M) def. Storozheva/Gray (ECU) – 7-6
No. 3 – Groenveld/Tanik (ECU) def. Casselbury/Smith (W&M) – 6-3
Finishing Order: 1, 3, 2*
#40 William and Mary 6, James Madison 1
No. 1 - #89 Leeza Nemchinov (W&M) def. Taylor Pinchoff (JMU) – 6-2, 6-2
No. 2 - Nabila Farah (W&M) def. Alex Huie (JMU) – 6-2, 6-1
No. 3 – Mélanie Roy (W&M) def. Emily Bradshaw (JMU) – 7-6, 1-6, 6-0
No. 4 – Julia Casselbury (W&M) def. Jacqueline Palmucci (JMU) – 6-4, 7-5
No. 5 – Sydney Smith (W&M) def. Ruxandra Andriescu (JMU) – 2-6, 6-0, 6-3
No. 6 –Rachel Nelson (JMU) def. Jackie Lee (W&M) – 6-0, 6-2
Finishing Order: 6, 1, 2, 3*, 4, 5
No. 1 – Belaya/Nemchinov (W&M) def. Pinchoff/Huie (JMU) – 8-2
No. 2 – Farah/Roy (W&M) def. Wirth/Khan (JMU) – 8-4
No. 3 – Palmucci/Andriescu (JMU) def. Casselbury/Smith (W&M) – 8-3
Finishing Order: 1, 2*, 3