Shorthanded Mocs Drop Hard-Fought Home Match to Embry-Riddle
LAKELAND - Playing without three of its regulars in its line-up and having one player sit out singles due to injury, the shorthanded Florida Southern Moccasins dropped a hard-fought 5-4 match to NAIA No.6 ranked Embry-Riddle in non-conference action at the Wynee Warden Tennis Center.
With the setback, the Moccasins fall to 14-4 overall on the season, while ERAU improves to 12-5. The Eagles will become provisional members of the Sunshine State Conference this coming July as they begin the transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II. The Eagles are expected to become a full member of the SSC by the 2017-18 school year.
The 10th-ranked Moccasins played the match without juniors, Victoria Spagnuolo and Olivia Spagnuolo, who were back home in Massachusetts attending a funeral and senior Joalis Dominguez (Vero Beach, Fla.), who had a class conflict. In addition to those three missing players, the Mocs played singles without junior All-American Magda Riutort (Petra, Spain). Riutort sat out of singles action as she continues to rehab from a hand injury suffered nearly two weeks ago.
Despite the adversity, the Mocs, who snapped its eight-match win streak with the loss, showed little effect from the missing players in doubles as they took all three doubles matches from the Eagles, including its 12th-ranked No. 1 team of Riutort and senior Sabine Goge (Cesis, Latvia) defeating ERAU's top-ranked NAIA doubles team of Hui-l Huang and Kristina Marova, 8-3.
With the absence of Olivia Spagnuolo, freshman Dominique Friedrichs (Hufingen, Germany) teamed up with senior Pamela Paradis (Quebec City, Quebec) to post an 8-6 win at No. 2 doubles, while senior Laura Wichmann (Waldshut-Tiengen, Germany), who usually plays doubles with Dominquez, teamed up with senior Crystal Copeland (Marietta, Ga.) to post an 8-4 win at No. 3 doubles.
Meanwhile, in singles, the match came down to Friedrichs at the No. 2 spot and Wichmann at the No. 3 spot.
ERAU earned its first point of the match by claiming a default win at the No. 6 spot thanks to Riutort's injury that forced Moccasin coach Trish Riddell to push everyone in her line-up up a spot.
The Eagles pulled within 3-2 in the match thanks to its straight set win at the No. 5 spot as Paula Oritza Couder defeated Copeland, 6-1, 6-4. It was just the fifth singles match of the season for Copeland and the first for her at the No. 5 spot this season.
FSC would push its lead to 4-2 after 44th-ranked Goge collected an impressive straight set win (6-2, 6-3) over seventh-ranked Hui-l Huang at the No. 1 spot. The victory extended Goge's win streak to 15 straight matches as she improved to 15-1 on the season.
ERAU would drop the Mocs lead to 4-3 following its straight set at the No. 4 spot by Eva Vilar over Paradis. Vilar defeated Paradis, 7-5, 6-2.
At the No. 2 spot, Anna Gotz and Friedrichs battled back-and-forth as Gotz took the first set, 7-5 and then after another back-and-forth second set ultimately prevailed 6-4 to tie the match at 4-all.
With the match tied, all eyes were on the No. 3 singles match between Wichmann and ERAU's Marova, who is ranked 37th in singles in the NAIA. Wichmann would gain the upper hand in the first set as she posted a 7-6 win, but Marova would rebound to post back-to-back 6-3 wins in both the second and third sets to seal the win for the Eagles.
The Mocs will close out the home portion of its regular season schedule on Friday, April 11 as they host 37th-ranked Florida Tech in a 3 p.m. SSC match at the Wynee Warden Tennis Center.
#6 Embry-Riddle 5, #10 Florida Southern 4
04/09/14 at Lakeland, FL (Wynee Warden Tennis Center)
|1. #44 Sabine Goge (FSCW) def. #17 Hui-I Huang (ERAUWT13) 6-3, 6-3|
|2. #20 Anna Gotz (ERAUWT13) def. Dominique Friedrichs (FSCW) 7-5, 6-4|
|3. #37 Kristina Marova (ERAUWT13) def. Laura Wichmann (FSCW) 6-7, 6-3, 6-3|
|4. Eva Vilar (ERAUWT13) def. Pamela Paradis (FSCW) 7-5, 6-2|
|5. Paula Oritza Couder (ERAUWT13) def. Crystal Copeland (FSCW) 6-1, 6-4|
|6. Meena Bennett (ERAUWT13) def. No player (FSCW), by default|
|1. #12 Magda Riutort/Sabine Goge (FSCW) def. #1 Hui-I Huang/Kristina Marova (ERAUWT13) 8-3|
|2. Dominique Friedrichs/Pamela Paradis (FSCW) def. Anna Gotz/Paola Montero (ERAUWT13) 8-6|
|3. Crystal Copeland/Laura Wichmann (FSCW) def. Eva Vilar/Paula Oritza Couder (ERAUWT13) 8-4|
|Embry-Riddle 12-5; National ranking #6; Regional ranking #2|
|Florida Southern 14-4; National ranking #10; Regional ranking #6|
|Order of finish: Doubles (13,2); Singles (6,5,1,4,2,3)|
|Embry-Riddle ranked sixth in NAIA.|