The Franciscan University of Steubenville women’s tennis team lost a close battle to non-conference opponent Baldwin Wallace University on Sept. 3 on Franciscan home courts.
The Lady Barons started strong in their doubles play. Freshman duo Haley Davinsizer and Caroline Picard were the first to walk off the courts with an impressive 8-0 win at No. 3 doubles. The pair set the tone of their match with aggressive net play and smart baseline shots.
No. 2 doubles was second to finish. Sophomore Zoey Stapleton and freshman Estelle Leon faced a tough 8-5 loss after they struggled to keep up with the Yellow Jackets’ net game. At No. 1 doubles, seniors Madelyn Conrad and Grace Hammel worked together to shut down their opponents 8-5 with strong service games and consistent groundstrokes, putting the Lady Barons up 2-1 going into singles.
The Lady Baron underclassmen continued to show their strength, claiming both single match wins. At No. 5 singles, Picard showed her smart and patient playing style, eventually sweeping a 6-1, 6-0 victory over her opponent. On the No. 6 court, Davinsizer snagged the last of the Lady Barons’ points, walking off the court with a 6-4, 6-1 win.
At the No. 2 singles spot, Hammel played heavy and deep groundstrokes in both sets. However, her opponent’s consistency proved too much in a close 6-3, 6-4 loss. At No. 3 singles, Stapleton played with impressive consistency before losing in a tie-break 6-2, 6-4, 10-6.
On the No. 4 singles, Leon didn’t let up. After falling 6-0 in the first set, the freshman fought back, taking the second set 6-3 with her strong service games before losing in a close tie break 10-8.
At No. 1 singles, Conrad, down 3-0 in the first set, had to retire her match due to injury.
“It’s nice to see the freshmen perform,” said head coach Scott Greve. “Injuries have been difficult to begin the season, but the girls continue to perform with a lot of grit and determination. It’s difficult to lose matches in tie-breakers, but it shows that we’re right there, ready to make the transition to winning.”
After falling 5-4 to a difficult non-conference matchplay, the Lady Barons hope to regroup quickly. They travel to Ohio Wesleyan this weekend for the Ohio Wesleyan invite, and their next home match begins at 7 p.m. on Sept. 12 against conference opponent, Penn State Altoona.