April 16, 2014
Chattanooga, Tenn. -
Western Carolina won their first tournament point since 2007, in their 4-1 loss to Appalachian State in the first round of the Southern Conference tournament at the UTC Tennis Courts on Wednesday afternoon.
At the No. 3 doubles matchup, Sara Ruiz Pajares and Erin Maguire were defeated by Megan Mullen and Brianna Armellino, 8-0. The Mountaineers (9-15) clinched the doubles point with a victory at the No. 1 contest, as Gabrielle Wreder and Mackenzie LaSure defeated Stacia Kissell and Shannon Bettiol, 8-4.
With the Appalachian State clinching the doubles point, the No. 2 doubles contest was halted with WCU's Megan McLinden and Nicole Nielly trailing McKayla Zupan and Clare Cox in the first set, 7-2.
The Catamounts (2-18-1) drew back even with a win at the No. 1 singles position as Kissell defeated Cox in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1. The victory gave Western Carolina its first point in tournament action since 2007.
At the No. 5 singles contest, Nielly lost in straight sets to Jessica Thaggard, 6-0, 6-0, to give App State a 2-1 lead. Ruiz Pajares dropped her No. 4 singles contest to Armellino, 6-0, 6-4.
Appalachian State clinched the match at the No. 3 singles match as Wreder defeated McLinden, 7-5, 6-2.
With the overall match clinched, the No. 2 contest was stopped as WCU's Bettiol was even with LaSure in the second set, 5-5, after dropping the first set 6-1.
The No. 6 contest was halted as well, due to the match already clinched, with Maguire trailing Mullen in set two, 4-1, after winning set one, 6-3.
The Purple & Gold finished the 2014 campaign 2-18-1, going winless in Southern Conference play. All six players are returning to the team next season, including first team all-conference, Stacia Kissell
, who finished the season 16-5, the highest winning percentage in school history as far back as school records date.