ORLANDO, Fla. - The Western Carolina women's tennis team closed out its annual spring break trip with its second consecutive victory as the Catamounts downed Niagara University 6-1 Friday night at the USTA National Campus. WCU won two of the three doubles matches before winning five of the six singles competitions. Sophomore Jordan Strickland improved to a team-best 8-1 in singles action on the season after learning she became the first ever WCU women's tennis student-athlete to be named Southern Conference Athlete of the Month in the 14-year history of the award.
"I'm really proud of the way our girls competed today to pull out the win," said associate head coach Jacob Eddins. "It was a great way to close out our trip to Orlando. I think we come away from this trip with a lot of confidence going into conference play next weekend. The team has really come together and I look forward to seeing what the second half of the semester holds for us."
Strickland and junior Savannah Taranto jumped started the victory for WCU as they combined to take the No. 1 doubles match 6-0 over the Purple Eagles. The victory improved the duo's seasonal record to 7-2 in doubles action. Freshman Jordyn King and sophomore Lauren McCall clinched the doubles point with a 6-4 victory at No. 2 before Niagara won the No. 3 match 6-4 as well.
Taranto made it a 2-0 advantage for the Catamounts after winning 6-0, 6-1 at No. 4 singles. Her doubles partner Strickland pushed the lead to 3-0 with a 6-1, 6-2 win at No. 2, her eighth singles victory of the season.
Junior Alexa Webb clinched the match for the Catamounts at No. 5 as she swept her opponent 6-0, 6-0 to pick up her fifth win of the season. Freshman Caitlin Ward then captured her second singles victory of the year at No. 6 with a 6-1, 6-1 win over the Purple Eagles.
King pushed WCU's lead to 6-0 win a come-from-behind 2-6, 6-3, 10-3 win at No. 1, her sixth win of the season at the top of the lineup.
Niagara's lone win of the match came in the final decision of the night as Andreea Peteu survived an epic tiebreaker to win at No. 3, 6-3, 7-6 (16-14) over Lauren McCall. McCall and Peteu battled to the last point with Peteu getting the 16-14 edge in the tiebreak.
The Catamounts will now return to campus to begin preparations for their match against mountain rival UNC Asheville Thursday, March 15 at 2 pm at the Catamount Athletic Complex.