Feb. 23, 2014
Cullowhee, N.C. -
Western Carolina's Stacia Kissell and Shannon Bettiol earned wins at No. 1 singles and No. 2 singles respectively, but the Catamounts fell 5-2 to mountain rival UNC Asheville at the Catamount Athletic Complex.
"We had to really fight and claw our way back into the match, and I thought we did a really good job of that," head coach Michaela Kissell-Eddins said. "I am really proud of the way we competed and the steps we are making are in the right direction."
WCU's Shannon Bettiol and Erin Maguire fell in the No. 2 doubles match, 8-3, to Amryn Soldier and Christine Boissevain of UNC-Asheville. The victory secured the doubles point for the Bulldogs as the Catamounts defaulted the No. 3 doubles match.
Bulldogs also gained a victory at the No. 1 doubles match. In a highly contested doubles match, WCU's Stacia Kissell and Sara Ruiz Pajares gained an early advantage leading 3-1. They were unable to hold the lead as UNCA's Ericka Rivero and Zoe Hamel broke serve twice and won four straight games taking a 5-3 lead en route to an 8-5 win.
At the No. 1 singles match, Kissell won her fifth match of the season with a straight set defeat of Hamel 6-1, 6-1. With the victory today, Kissell matched her win total from last season giving the sophomore 10 individual collegiate victories all out of the No. 1 singles spot.
In the no. 2 singles match Bettiol earned the victory -- her first of the season -- defeating Rivero, 6-3, 5-7, 6-1. Bettiol struggled in the second set as she dropped four of the last five games as Rivero forced a third set, but Bettiol battled back to earn the set three win in confident fashion.
WCU's Megan McLinden, who was playing in her second three-set match in as many days, won the first set 2-6, but stumbled in the last two sets 6-2 and 6-4 as Boissevain picked up the win for UNCA at the No. 4 singles position.
Ruiz-Pajares fell to Amryn Soldier 6-3, 6-7 (7-3), 7-6 (7-2) in the no. 3 singles match of the afternoon.
Ruiz Pajares, who dropped the first set, 6-3, to her No. 3 singles spot counterpart Soldier, started set two out with a commanding 5-0 lead. However, Soldier fought back to take the lead 6-5. Ruiz Pajares halted Soldier's streak by winning the next two games, including the tiebreak, 6-7 (3-7), forcing a decisive third set. In set three, Ruiz Pajares battled and forced another tiebreak, but could not pull out the win falling 7-6 (7-2) to Soldier.
After her win yesterday, WCU's Erin Maguire was unable to capture victory today. Maguire fell in straight sets at the No. 5 singles match to UNC-Asheville's Gillian Lewis, 6-0, 6-2.
The Purple & Gold (0-5-1) return to action Sunday, March 2 as they host the Samford Bulldogs in their first Southern Conference match of the 2014 season at 12 p.m. from the Catamount Athletic Complex.