March 13, 2014
Macon, Ga. -
Western Carolina gained their first doubles match win of the season, but fell to Mercer 4-3 in a closely contested match at the Leroy Peddy Tennis Center.
Mercer (6-9) earned the doubles point with a win at the No. 2 doubles match as Natalie Franklin and Haley Powell defeated WCU's Megan McLinden and Sara Ruiz Pajares, 8-6. The Catamounts defaulted the No. 3 doubles contest.
Western Carolina (0-8-1) won the No. 2 doubles match as Stacia Kissell and Shannon Bettiol battled through a tiebreak to defeat Mercer's Roxy Bartz and Lucie Payrat, 8-7 (7-3), in the No. 1 doubles contest. The match victory is the first doubles match won by the Catamounts this season.
The Catamounts collected singles points from their top three seeds, Kissell, Bettiol and Megan McLinden.
At the No. 1 singles match, Kissell won in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3 against Payrat. The win is Kissell's eighth of the season, all of which have come from the number one position.
Mercer's Liza Klyachkin defeated WCU's Erin Maguire at the No. 5 position in straight sets 6-1, 6-1.
WCU's McLinden defeated the Bears Powell at the No. 3 spot, winning 6-4, 6-4. The victory brought Western Carolina back to within one point of Mercer in the overall match.
With the Catamounts trailing in the match 3-2, Bettiol battled back win at the No. 2 singles match, 5-7, 7-6(2), 3-0 against Mercer's Bartz, who retired in the third set due to an injury.
Western Carolina's Ruiz efforts fell short in the No. 4 singles match, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, against Mercer's Franklin, which gave the Bears match victory, 4-3.
The Catamounts return to the courts on Friday March 14 as they play the Savannah State Tigers at 1 p.m. from Savannah, Georgia.