WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - The William and Mary women’s tennis team wraps up its four-match homestand with a pair of contests over the weekend at the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center. The Green and Gold hosts No. 50 Penn State on Saturday, Feb. 8, at 11:30 a.m., before welcoming Wake Forest to Williamsburg on Sunday, Feb. 9, at noon.
Scouting William and Mary
Facing one of the most difficult schedules in the country, the Tribe currently sits at 2-6 on the year after dropping its fourth match of the year to a national top-20 opponent earlier this week. The Green and Gold battled No. 18 Texas Tech on Tuesday, before falling to the visiting Red Raiders. W&M won at the top two singles positions and pushed a third match to three sets, before dropping a 5-2 decision. Senior Maria Belaya, who is ranked No. 65 nationally, upended her fourth nationally-ranked counterpart of the year, this time downing No. 58 Kenna Kilgo in straight sets to improve her team-best record to 15-9. Sophomore Leeza Nemchinov improved to a Tribe-best 4-2 in dual-match play with her second win at the No. 2 position, bouncing Texas Tech’s Rashmi Teltumbde, 6-3, 6-4, to improve to 13-8 on the year. The Green and Gold is currently ranked No. 43 nationally. The Tribe’s match with Penn State will be its fifth straight against a nationally-ranked counterpart and its seventh in nine matches this season.
Scouting #50 Penn State
The Nittany Lions enter the week with a 3-2 record and ranked No. 50 nationally. PSU opened the season with three straight wins, downing Cleveland State, Bucknell and Navy, before suffering setbacks in its last two matches against nationally-ranked opponents. The Nittnay Lions dropped a 7-0 decision at No. 19 Baylor and then lost its most recent match to No. 40 Kentucky, 6-1, at home. Marie-Frederique Bedard leads PSU in singles wins (9) and doubles wins (8). Bedard and Dasha Sapogova have combined to go a perfect 3-0 at the No. 2 doubles position during the dual-match campaign. Freshman Katia Blik has been playing the No. 1 singles position for Penn State and owns a 1-2 singles ledger. Carmen Sandor ranks second on the team with six singles wins, playing primarily at the No. 2 post.
Series History: W&M vs. Penn State
The Tribe leads the all-time series with Penn State at 11-5, including a perfect 5-0 mark in Williamsburg. In the most recent meeting in 2011, W&M defeated the Nittany Lions, 4-3, in Columbus, Ohio. Penn State’s last trip to Williamsburg was a 7-0 W&M victory in 2002.
Scouting Wake Forest
The Demon Deacons enter the week with a perfect 5-0 mark and will travel to face No. 44-ranked VCU on Saturday, before meeting the Tribe on Sunday. Wake Forest owns a couple of doubleheader sweeps and most recently upset No. 70 Missouri, 5-2, on Feb. 2. Andrea Retolaza Andrade is 10-6 overall on the year, including a perfect 5-0 at No. 1 singles position. Both Kimmy Guerin, who is 12-5 overall, and Xue Zhang, 13-4 overall, are unbeaten at 5-0 in dual-match singles for the Deacs. Guerin and Zhang combined to form Wake Forest’s top doubles teams. The pair is 11-6 overall and 5-0 in dual-match play. As a team, the Deacs have not lost a double position in dual-match play.
Series History: W&M vs. Wake Forest
Wake Forest leads the series 18-16, but the Tribe owns a 10-6 mark against the Demon Deacons in Williamsburg. The Green and Gold owns victories in the last two matches against Wake Forest, including a 5-2 win in Winston-Salem, N.C., last season.