Michigan’s Rally Falls Short at UCF

Michigan’s Rally Falls Short at UCF

3/5/2022 4:13:00 PM

// Sarah VanMetre

Site: Lake Nona, Fla. (USTA National Campus)
Result: UCF 4, # 18 Michigan 3
Records: UM (5-4), UCF (7-5)
Next UM Event: Saturday, March 12 – vs. Indiana (Varsity Tennis Center), Noon

LAKE NONA, Fla. – Facing a 3-1 deficit, the No. 18-ranked University of Michigan women’s tennis team had the remaining three matches in third sets but could only win two of them as the Wolverines fell 4-3 to UCF at the USTA National Campus on Saturday afternoon (March 5).

Michigan dropped the doubles point, losing a pair of 6-1 matches at the No. 1 and No. 2 position.

UCF extended its lead to 2-0 behind a straight-set win at No. 6.

Jaedan Brown put Michigan’s first point on the board behind a 6-3, 6-4 win over Noel Saidenova at the No. 2 position. She got the break she needed in the first set at 3-2, eventually going up 5-2 when her shot di lei hit the net cord and fell over.

The Golden Knights extended their lead to 3-1 with a straight-set win at No. 4.

Needing all three remaining matches on court for the win, Michigan went to work and had all three matches in third sets.

Kari Miller brought the Maize and Blue within a point, 3-2, with a 6-4, 0-6, 6-2 victory over No. 61 Evgeniya Levashova at the top spot. The middle stages of the first set featured three straight breaks of serve before Miller won three straight for a 5-2 lead. Levashova answered with two consecutive games but Miller won the next, wrapping up the 6-4 win.

After Levashova grabbed a 6-0 win in the second set, Miller went up a break at 2-1 in the third. Levashova again had an answer, breaking right back. It was all Miller after that, as the Wolverine won the final four games and converted on her third match point to put the point on the board for the Maize and Blue.

The Golden Knights put the match away with a three-set win at No. 5. Julia Fliegner won the first set, 6-1, after getting out to a 3-0 start. With Sophia Biolay winning the second set, 6-4, the match headed to the third set. The players stayed on serve throughout the first eight games, with the score knotted at 4-4. Fliegner had a pair of break points at 3-2 but Biolay fought both off. Fliegner fell behind 40-30 on her serve in the ninth game, fighting off the first break point but not the second as Biolay got the break and a 5-4 lead. Fliegner was able to save one match point in the next game but not a second as UCF secured its fourth point.

Nicole Hammond ended the day for the Wolverines with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 win at No. 3. After a pair of evenly played sets, it was all Hammond in the third as she jumped out to a 4-0 lead en route to the win.

Michigan is back in action next weekend, hosting a pair of matches at the Varsity Tennis Center. UM will host Indiana on Saturday (March 12) and Columbia on Sunday (March 13). Both matches are set for noon.

Following are match-by-match results:

Singles
No. 1 – No. 8 Kari Miller (UM) d. No. 61 Evgeniya Levashova (UCF), 6-4, 0-6, 6-2
No. 2 – No. 107 Jaedan Brown (UM) d. Noel Saidenova (UCF), 6-3, 6-4
No. 3 – Nicole Hammond (UM) d. No. 114 Marie Mattel (UCF), 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
No. 4 – Jaleesa Leslie (UCF) d. No. 113 Andrea Cerdan (UM), 7-5, 6-2
No. 5 – Sophia Biolay (UCF) d. Julia Fliegner (UM), 1-6, 6-4, 6-4
No. 6 – Nandini Sharma (UCF) d. Gala Mesochoritou (UM), 6-4, 6-2

Doubles
No. 1 – Evgeniya Levashova / Marie Mattel (UCF) d. Jaedan Brown/Andrea Cerdan (UM), 6-1
No. 2 – Nandini Sharma / Sophia Biolay (UCF) d. Kari Miller/Julia Fliegner (UM), 6-1
No. 3 – Hip Craciun/Nicole Hammond (UM) vs. Jaleesa Leslie / Noel Saidenova (UCF), 5-3 abandoned

Order of Completion: Doubles 1-2; Singles 6-2-4-1-5-3

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