Natalie Fiorilli | The Duquesne Duke
The Duquesne women’s tennis team competed in back-to-back matches against Niagara University and the University of Pittsburgh, splitting the pair of weekend matches. On Friday afternoon, the squad defeated Niagara 6-1, but they fell to Pitt 5-2 on Saturday. The team began the weekend with a 3-3 record at home and ended it 4-4.
After losing to Fordham on Jan. 31, the Dukes are currently 0-1 within the Atlantic 10 Conference.
Freshman Kylie Isaacs shut out her opponents in both competitions with four wins in two singles and two doubles matches. Captain and lone senior Chandler Consonery, junior Sarah Shashura and Isaacs have been pivotal to the team’s overall performance in doubles matches. All three have racked up over 10 wins this season.
Consonery favors doubles this season with a two-match winning streak and four wins in the doubles column overall.
“I definitely think this year I’m finding a lot more success in doubles just because I’ve played with my partner now for over a year,” Consonery said. “That goes into the team aspect as well, I like doubles a little better just because you are with someone else on the court and it helps take a little bit of the edge off. It’s also a little bit more fun because it’s a lot faster-pace than singles.”
The Red & Blue dominated Niagara at the Alpha Tennis and Fitness Center, winning all but one of their singles matches, as well as all of their doubles. Each match consisted of only two rounds, except for the fifth contest in which sophomore Zuzanna Stelmaszak was forced into a tiebreaker, where she achieved a 10-6 victory. The second singles match left junior Alexa Miller’s opponent for Pitt scoreless in both series, completing with a score of 6-0 for each round. Niagara was down a player for two competitions which provided two default Duquesne wins on the court.
On Saturday, Pitt found their first win of the season against Duquesne, improving their former 0-4 record. The Red & Blue fell flat although three of the six singles matches resulted in decisive tiebreakers. Isaacs earned the sole victory in singles matches in a sudden-death round against Pitt, with a score of 6-2. The second tally on the scoreboard for the Dukes was obtained through a 2-3 success in the doubles matches. The pairs of Isaacs and Shashura and Consonery and sophomore Megan Wasson defeated their opponents in the doubles contests.
Although the team fell to Pitt on Saturday, Consonery felt that the final score did not reflect the Dukes’ effort.
“I think on both days everyone played really well, a few points didn’t go in our favor,” Consonery said. “To look at the score and see that it was 2-5 you had to be there to really see how close the match was, I mean we were right there, we were so close.”
Up next, the Dukes will take on the Bucknell University Bison on Feb. 21 at home and the team will remain home for their match against Buffalo on Feb. 27. The A-10 Championships will not commence until mid-April.
“I think the team has overall shown extreme growth since last year and every match keeps getting better and better,” assistant coach Vanessa Steiner said. “We have a good feeling about these upcoming matches, and it’s going to be a good test for us to see if we can continue playing well so we’re excited for that and I know the girls are really excited as well.”