HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – The Bucknell women’s tennis team waited through a rainy South Carolina morning to take on George Mason at the Van Der Meer Tennis Center on Wednesday and came away with its first win of 2014, defeating its opponent by a score of 3-2 in a shortened match format. The teams played two doubles matches and three singles bouts to determine a victor, with each match consisting of one eight-game, pro set. The Bison, who improved to 1-3 with the win, earned victories at No. 1 doubles and No. 2 and 3 singles to clinch the victory, while the Patriots fell to 4-9 with the defeat.
“With the windy conditions, a delayed start and a shirt warm-up, I thought the team handled the adversity well and really stepped up to the challenge,” reflected head women’s tennis coach Rebecca Helt after the win.
Sophomore Maria Cioffi and junior Lydia Colvin were the first two Bison to put points on the board, coming out on top in their respective singles matches. Cioffi, who improved to 10-6 in singles play this season, defeated Morgan Yang by a score of 8-1 in the No. 2 match, while Colvin earned an 8-2 win over Sofia Santa Maria at the No. 3 spot.
The competitors in the remaining three matches battled down to the bitter end, with George Mason taking wins at No. 1 singles and No. 2 doubles, but the duo of sophomore Stephanie Pino and junior Alyssa McAndrew clinched the win for Bucknell with an 8-5 victory over Marijke Boers and Mina Saygi at No. 1 doubles.
The Bison will play one more match in South Carolina, taking on Southern Illinois at 8 a.m. on Friday, before traveling back to Lewisburg for their first contest of the season on the Bucknell Tennis Courts. Bucknell will square off against St. Joseph’s on Sunday, March 16, and action is set to being at 12 p.m.