OLEAN, N.Y. – Bucknell women’s tennis posted a decisive win in its 2018 season opener Friday night, beating Niagara 6-1 at the St. Bonaventure Fitness Center. The Bison took all three doubles matches and five of the six singles contests.

Bucknell didn’t lose a set in its five singles wins while improving to 1-0 on the season.

“I knew Niagara was a much stronger and deeper team than last year, so it was impressive to watch the team take this first win so convincingly,” Bucknell head coach Rebecca Helt said.

The Bison won the first three completed singles matches, starting with a 6-3, 6-3 victory by sophomore Paige Leavy on court two. Freshman Schuyler La Barge followed that with a win by identical scores on court four.

Senior Lisa Jouravleva clinched the match a 6-4, 6-4 win over Stella Peisakhova on court one. The Purple Eagles senior was 3-0 in singles entering the match.

Junior Mishi Papich was a 6-4, 6-4 winner on court five, while senior Madeline Melch put an exclamation point on the day with a 6-4, 6-3 score on court six.

“In singles, we came out swinging and taking our shots,” Helt said. “This didn’t look like a first match of the year; it looked more like a midseason match.  Everyone fought for every single point and it was often just pure grit that won the point. I was especially proud of the focus and concentration our players showed.” 

It was a clean sweep for the Bison in doubles, as Jouravleva and Leavy teamed up for a 6-1 decision on court one, Papich and freshman Cayla Koch were 6-4 victors on court two, and La Barge joined senior Emilie Bush to edge the Niagara team 7-6 on court here.

“We had a goal of starting the doubles matches aggressively and not being passive,” Helt said. “We dominated on court one and two. Court three was down a break the entire set until the very end. Emilie and Schuyler stayed aggressive and it paid off as they won a few key points to take the set to a tiebreaker.”

Bucknell 6, Niagara University 1
Jan 26, 2018 at Olean, N.Y. (SBU Tennis Courts) 

Singles competition
1. Lisa Jouravleva (BUCKNELL) def. Peisakhova, Stella (NIAW) 6-4, 6-4
2. Paige Leavy (BUCKNELL) def. Som, Chhinda (NIAW) 6-3, 6-3
3. Peteu, Andreea (NIAW) def. Cayla Koch (BUCKNELL) 7-5, 7-5
4. Schuyler La Barge (BUCKNELL) def. Wong, Shannon (NIAW) 6-3, 6-3
5. Mishi Papich (BUCKNELL) def. Hutchinson, Ali (NIAW) 6-4, 6-4
6. Madeline Melch (BUCKNELL) def. Deshmukh, Sharlee (NIAW) 6-3, 6-4
Doubles competition
1. Lisa Jouravleva/Paige Leavy (BUCKNELL) def. Peisakhova, Stella/Wong, Shannon (NIAW) 6-1
2. Cayla Koch/Mishi Papich (BUCKNELL) def. Deshmukh, Sharlee/Peteu, Andreea (NIAW) 6-4
3. Emilie Bush/Schuyler La Barge (BUCKNELL) def. Hutchinson, Ali/Som, Chhinda (NIAW) 7-6 (7-5)
Match Notes
Bucknell 1-0
Niagara University 3-3