HILTON HEAD, S.C. – Bucknell women’s tennis had a strong start to Spring TennisFest with a 6-1 win over two-time defending MEAC champion South Carolina State. The Bison improved to 7-4 with wins in each of the past two matches.

“I knew the first match outdoors would be a big adjustment for us, but I thought we adjusted quickly and handled it really well,” Bucknell head coach Rebecca Helt said. “We didn’t play our best tennis by far, but I was proud of the way we fought and focused out there. It’s great to see us battling through some tough third sets.”

Bucknell won three three-set matches. Paige Leavy was a 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 winner on court two, while Mishi Papich prevailed 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 on court three. Both players improved to 7-4 this spring, with Leavy winning back-to-back contests and Papich running her streak to three.

Also winning in three sets was Sofia Ayuso. She dropped the first set 6-7, but bounced back with 7-5, 10-7 scores.

Lisa Jourvavleva upped her winning streak to six straight matches, improving to 9-1 with a default win on court one. She was leading 5-0 in the first set when the match was halted.

Rounding out Bucknell’s singles winners was Madeline Melch. She improved to 4-2 with a 6-2, 6-3 decision on court six.

The Bison swept the three doubles matches, all coming by a 6-4 score. Completing the sweep were the teams of Jouravleva/Leavy (court one), Emilie Bush/Cayla Koch (court two), and Ayuso/Papich (court three).

Jouravleva and Leavy are 9-2 this spring and have a five-match winning streak.

South Carolina State, which has made two straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament, dropped to 1-1 on the season.

Bucknell will play two matches at Spring TennisFest on Wednesday. The Bison will take on George Mason at 9 a.m., and IUP at 6 a.m.