HILTON HEAD, S.C. – Bucknell women’s tennis ran its winning streak to four straight matches with victories over George Mason and IUP at Spring TennisFest in Hilton Head on Wednesday. The Bison went 3-0 at the event, including a win over South Carolina State.
The Bison have seen their record improve to an impressive 9-4 thanks to the recent surge. George Mason dipped to 3-7, while IUP, which has qualified for the NCAA Division II Tournament in eight consecutive seasons, fell to 6-2.
Up next for Bucknell is a match at Mount St. Mary’s on Wednesday, March 21.
Bucknell 6, George Mason 1
Bucknell won three close doubles matches and then won five of six singles matches on its way to a 6-1 win over George Mason in the first match of the day.
The Bison got the early momentum and a one-point lead with three doubles victories. Lisa Jouravleva and Paige Leavy were 6-4 winners on court one, while Mishi Papich and Sofia Ayuso prevailed by the same score on court three. Emilie Bush and Cayla Koch had the closest match, coming out on top, 7-6.
“It was a brutally windy day and tough conditions for everyone,” Bucknell head coach Rebecca Helt said. “We did such a great job adjusting our games and once again, just competed so hard.”
Leavy had a tremendous comeback in a gritty three-set win on court two. She dropped the first set 6-2, but tied it with a 6-3 score in set two. She then faced five-match points before coming through with a 13-11 win in set three.
Leavy wasn’t the only three-set winner for the Bison. Koch went back and forth on court four before recording the victory, 6-1, 6-7, 10-5.
Rounding out the singles victors for Bucknell were Jouravleva (court one), Ayuso (court five), and Madeline Melch (court six).
“Lisa, Maddie, and Sofia were just dominant in the windy conditions to put three quick points on the board after our doubles sweep,” Helt said.
Bucknell 5, IUP 2
Bucknell again took the early lead by securing the doubles point and this time won four of six matches to beat IUP 5-2.
“IUP is always a very solid team that plays disciplined tennis,” Helt said. “This was a good match for us. We’ll be able to learn some valuable lessons from this week and continue to get better.”
The top of the lineup has been strong all season for the Bison, but this time it was the bottom of the lineup that really pulled through. The team won on courts two and three in doubles and took points on courts three through six in singles.
Melch had the most dominant singles win of the day for Bucknell, cruising to a 6-0, 6-0 shutout on court six. Koch’s performance wasn’t far behind as she rolled to a 6-2, 6-3 victory on court four. They were joined with straight-sets wins by Papich (court three) and Ayuso (court four).
In doubles, Papich and Ayuso posted an 8-0 shutout on court three, while Bush and Koch were 8-5 winners on court two.