MEDIA, Pa. – In a match that could have gone either way, Bucknell women’s tennis showed its mettle in a 5-2 win over Saint Joseph’s at the Springton Tennis Club. The Bison won a pair of three-set singles matches and another that went down to the wire in both sets as they improved to 5-3 on the season.

“This was a great team win for us, because Saint Joseph’s is always a tough team,” Bucknell head coach Rebecca Helt said. “We definitely didn’t play our best tennis, but the fight and the heart that went into securing the win was so impressive.”

With Bucknell leading 3-2, two singles matches were in the third set, either of which could clinch the victory for the Bison. As it turned out, they picked up both wins, starting with a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 triumph by Paige Leavy on court two. That was followed shortly after by Cayla Koch’s 2-6, 6-1, 6-3 win on court four.

“Paige had the toughest battle,” Helt said. “She definitely wasn’t playing her best, not feeling her timing, and the first set was pretty quick. She hung in there really tough to win the second.”

After battling back to tie the match at one set apiece, Leavy had to again fight her way back after falling behind in the third set.

“She was down the entire 3rd set, 0-3, then 1-4.  Her sheer mental toughness pushed her to tie it up at 4-4,” Helt said. “Then she went down 4-5, but held, then broke to go up 6-5. Serving for the match at 6-5, she went down love-40 then hit four big first serves to win her match and the team match.”

Despite the team result being determined, Koch’s win was still impressive. She put herself in position to get the deciding point for the team if needed.

“She has been working hard all season to get that big win in a big match,” Helt said of Koch.

Bucknell built up its early lead starting with the doubles point after taking two of the three matches. Jouravleva and Leavy were 6-4 winners on court one, while Emilie Bush and Sofia Ayuso teamed up for a 6-3 victory on court three.

Ayuso notched the first singles point for the Bison, cruising with 6-1, 6-4 scores on court six.

“Sofia is starting to find her rhythm out there and handled her opponent easily,” Helt said.

Jouravleva followed that with a hard-fought 7-5, 7-6 win on court one that may have set the tone for the other Bucknell players in close matches.

“Lisa’s match was back-and-forth the entire time,” Helt said. “She’d get broke, then break right back. She stuck to her game plan and played a really tough match.”

Bucknell will be right back at it on Sunday when it plays Marist. The match is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. at the Northwood Racquet Club.

Bucknell 5, Saint Joseph's 2
2/24/2018 at Springton Tennis Club (Media, Pa.) 

Singles competition
1. Lisa Jouravleva (BUCKNELL) def. Amanda Nava (SJU) 6-4, 7-6
2. Paige Leavy (BUCKNELL) def. Maureen Devlin (SJU) 3-6, 6-3, 7-5
3. Laura Gomez (SJU) def. Mishi Papich (BUCKNELL) 5-7, 6-2, 6-2
4. Cayla Koch (BUCKNELL) def. Isis Gill-Reid (SJU) 2-6, 6-1, 6-3
5. Lourdes Sprinmoller (SJU) def. Schuyler La Barge (BUCKNELL) 6-2, 6-3
6. Sofia Ayuso (BUCKNELL) def. Katherine Devlin (SJU) 6-1, 6-4
Doubles competition
1. Paige Leavy/Lisa Jouravleva (BUCKNELL) def. Amanda Nava/Isis Gill-Reid (SJU) 6-4
2. Laura Gomez/Lourdes Sprinmoller (SJU) def. Cayla Koch/Mishi Papich (BUCKNELL) 6-1
3. Emilie Bush/Sofia Ayuso (BUCKNELL) def. Katherine Devlin/Maureen Devlin (SJU) 6-3