The John Carroll University women’s tennis team started its match with Franciscan University on Saturday, Sept. 28 eager to bounce back from a 7-2 loss to Allegheny College on Tuesday, Sept. 24. The Blue Streaks did just that, bouncing back in a dominating fashion, defeating the Barons, 9-0.
“After a tough 7-2 loss to Allegheny, it was really important that we were ready to get back on track and win our next match against Franciscan,” junior Tracy Gibson said.
The match began with several close calls in doubles play for the Blue Streaks. At the top spot, sophomores Catherine Engel and Kyle Cousineau defeated Franciscan’s Caeles Crunkleton and Renata Crespo in a closely contested match, 8-6.
In the number two spot, Gibson and sophomore Anna Stein took on Claire Haddad and Ashley Veazy, winning the match, 8-4. JCU’s freshman duo of Kelsie Doran and Josephine Miller took the final doubles match, 8-4, against Lucia Neugebauer and Kelly Veazy for the sweep in doubles play.
With a 3-0 lead over Franciscan, the Blue and Gold never looked back. Engel was up in singles play and showed why she occupies the top spot, beating Crunkleton 6-1, 6-1 to earn the victory.
With the 4-0 lead, all JCU needed was one more match win to clinch a team win for the day. Freshman Katherine Devine delivered in a huge way, winning the first set 6-4 and following that up with a 6-1 set win to earn the match victory.
However, head coach Shaun Keenan and his team were not satisfied with just a win, and continued to dominate.
Stein continued the winning streak, beating Crespo 7-5 in consecutive sets to earn the win. In the fourth spot, Gibson had a chance to showcase her skills. She did just that, taking down Haddad 6-2 in both sets to earn the match victory.
Junior Hannah Baumwell was in at the number five spot. Both of her sets were closely contested, but Baumwell showed she could handle the pressure, winning both sets with scores of 6-4 and 7-5.
In the sixth and final spot was freshman Ivana Didovic, and her performance showed she was ready to play. Didovic dominated her match, earning wins of 6-3 and 6-0 in straight sets to earn another match victory for the Blue Streaks and complete a 9-0 shutout win.
“[It] was a great start for our team,” Gibson said. “Our team has a large number of talented freshmen who are going to help out a tremendous amount.
“Last season went really well for us, finishing in one of the top spots in the OAC, but we are hoping to do even better this season with our stronger lineup,” Gibson said.