On the heels of their first extended winning streak of the season, the UConn women’s tennis team was poised to keep up their victorious ways as they traveled down to the Sunshine State to play Florida Southern College and Bethune-Cookman on back-to-back days.
In Lakeland on Tuesday, the Huskies took on a strong Florida Southern team that came into their match winners of seven of their first nine matchups. In the Doubles No. 1, the elite pairing of Julieanne Bou and Leonie Hoppe got UConn in the win column with a 6-2 victory over the FSC duo of Laura Vetter and Mathilda Vidgren. This win helped Bou and Hoppe earn a doubles point, and to win Big East doubles team of the week. With the win, they continued a three match winning streak and have posted five wins at the No. 1 spot. FSC came back in Doubles No. 2, as Aleksandra Karamyshev and Petri Bere fell to Minnie Kim and Vivien Charvatova 6-4. UConn snagged the doubles point in No. 3, with Caroline Cook and Denise Lai defeating Maxima Ellenberg and Flo Salerno 6-1.
The singles matches were competitive as well. Bou moved to 15-8 on the season with a straight set victory in Singles No. 1 over Vetter 6-2, 6-4. Hoppe improved to 14-8, and pushed her winning streak to five with a comeback three set victory in Singles No. 2, winning the next two sets 7-5, 6-1 after losing the first 0-6. Karamyshev secured her 14th win overall on the season in No. 3, triumphing over Kim 6-2, 7-5. From there, UConn struggled, as Isabella Bolivar beat Cook in straight sets, 7-5, 6-2, to win Singles No. 4. Petri Bere fell behind in the first set in her No. 5 matchup with Salerno, but rebounded to take the second, eventually losing in three sets, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4. Olivia Bryant took care of business against Lai in straight sets 6-0, 6-1, to get the point in No. 6. On the backs of their strong doubles performances and wins in the first three singles matches, UConn escaped with a 4-3 victory over Florida Southern, pushing the winning streak to four.
Their match with Bethune-Cookman would not be as stressful and contested. Bou and Hoppe, the conference duo of the week, showed exactly why, with a 6-0 win over BCU’s Afrika Smith and Diarra Thomas in Doubles No. 1. Doga Selen Takunyaci and Lai dominated in a similar way in Doubles No. 2, winning 6-0 over Selene Kentish and Lauren McLin. Cook and Petri Bere won as well in a forfeit from Jourdon Cooper and Valerie Deshomes.
Bethune-Cookman was short of players, thus giving the Huskies wins in Singles No. 5 and No. 6, crediting wins to Lai and Takunyaci. In the matchups they did play, it was still UConn running the show. Hoppe dropped the first set in Singles No. 1 against Smith, but rebounded to win 3-6, 6-1, 10-7. Karamyshev had less difficulty in No. 2 against Thomas, securing the win in straight sets 6-2, 6-0. Cook and Petri Bere followed suit in Singles No. 3 and 4, winning 6-2, 6-1, and 6-0, 6-0, respectively. The strong UConn performance pushed the winning streak to five, and 7-3 on the season overall as they head back home.
The Huskies will have two chances to continue the winning streak, welcoming in Army on March 26, then matching up with St. Johns on the following afternoon, their second Big East matchup of the season.