Tennis gets first in-conference win, prepare for WVU

The women’s tennis team picked up their first Big East win of the spring season with a 4-3 victory on the road against the Villanova Wildcats.

With the win the Pirates are now 1-6 in the Big East and 7-10 overall in the spring season.

“We have had an up and down year all season,” head coach Greg Wyzykowski said. “It was nice to get a win, we just have to stay strong mentally.”

The Hall swept the Wildcats in the three doubles matches. Senior Denise Liebschner and junior Belfin Sunbul won in No. 1 doubles, 8-3.

At the No. 2 doubles position, sophomore Elizabeth Verow and Courtney Kilarski got the 8-4 victory.

Finishing the sweep was sophomore Michelle Weerasinghe and freshman Karina Cordero, who had their match go into a tiebreak where they won 8-7(2).

“Doubles stepped up,” Liebschner said. “They gave us more motivation going into singles.”

In the singles matchup, Seton Hall split the six matchups with the Wildcats going 3-3.

Liebschner in the No. 1 position went three sets in order to pick up the 3-6, 6-0, 6-4 victory making her singles record in the Big East at 3-4. In the other match that went three sets, Sunbul at No. 3 picked up the victory by a score of 6-0, 5-7, 6-0.

The third winner in singles for the Hall was Weerasinghe with a two set win in the No. 6 position, 6-2, 6-2.

Verow, Cordero, and Kilarski all lost their matchups in two sets in the No. 2, 4, and 5 positions respectively.

“We have played strong in our last two matchups,” Wyzykowski said. “Hopefully this continues and are allowed to send a player to the Big East Championships.”

The previous matchup was against St. Joseph’s where the Pirates took the 7-0 win.

Winning all three double match-ups, the Hall took the early 1-0 lead against the Hawks with Weerasinghe and Cordero in the No. 3 position winning their match 8-1.

Singles play was more of the same for Seton Hall, as they won all six matches. Verow at the No.2 position went three sets and won in a tiebreak, 6-4, 5-7, 11-9.

The No. 5 and No. 6 positions, with Weerasinghe and Kaplanaka respectively, won without losing a game going 6-0, 6-0 in both matches.

“This is a mental game,” Wyzykowski said. “We are learning to compete mentally especially with our younger players.”

On Saturday, the Pirates lost their sixth straight Big East match against the West Virginia Mountaineers, 6-1.

“It’s disappointing,” Liebschner said. “We got distracted after losing the doubles point.”

The only point that the team received was from the No. 1 position in singles play. Liebschner got the point by beating WVU’s Stephanie LaFortune in three sets, 6-3, 1-6, 10-7.

In the No. 3 position, Sunbul had her match go three sets but could not get the victory, losing, 6-4, 2-6, 11-9.

Doubles play did not help the Pirates with the team dropping all three matchups

The team continues play on Friday at home against the Georgetown Hoyas at 3 p.m.

Stephen Valenti can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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