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Clemson women’s tennis defeats JMU in tenth home victory

Max Knipstein, Contributor

Clemson women’s tennis defeated James Madison on Sunday, April 3 to earn the team’s tenth home victory this season.

The Clemson women’s tennis team defeated James Madison University 4-3 on Sunday, April 3.  

The Tigers’ victory improved their record to 10-8 on the season, with all 10 victories coming from home. 

In Clemson’s first ever meeting with the Dukes, Cristina Mayorova and Daniella Medvedeva led doubles for the Tigers against James Madison’s Michelle Los Arcos and Daniela Voloh. 

Mayorova and Medvedeva looked to go on the offensive from the outset of the match, but Los Arcos and Voloh played well in the opportune moments, securing the win, 6-4. 

On court two, Clemson’s Samantha Buyckx and Ali Despain faced James Madison’s Hope Moulin and Daria Afanasyeve 

After consecutive holds of serve for both teams, Despain and Buyckx got the break at 3-2. With the break in hand, Despain and Buyckx stayed on the offensive and looked for opportunities to close at the net.  

Despain and Buyckx clinched the win for the Tigers, 6-3. 

On court three of doubles, Clemson’s Lana Sipek and Jenna Thompson faced James Madison’s Kylie Moulin and Amanda Nord.  

Thompson closed at the net and Sipek had a solid serving performance, but the Dukes’ Moulin and Nord had the upper hand in converting deciding points. Moulin and Nord clinched the doubles point for the Dukes, defeating Sipek and Thompson, 6-3. 

Trailing to the Dukes 1-0, the Tigers looked to compete in singles to secure a victory. 

The first win of the day came on court five where Buyckx defeated James Madison’s Moulin. Buyckx played with an offensive mentality, which allowed her to take control of the match quickly, taking the first set, 6-0. Buyckx continued to dictate the rallies and moved Moulin side-to-side with her flat groundstrokes in the second set. Buyckx clinched the match, 6-0, 6-3. 

Meanwhile on court one of singles, Mayorova faced James Madison’s Natalia Nikolopoulou. Mayorova looked to utilize her deep groundstrokes to push Nikolopoulou back, forcing short balls. Mayorova won in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2. 

With a 2-1 lead, the Tigers needed two more singles wins to secure the match.  

Clemson’s Thompson had a straight sets victory against James Madison’s Moulin.  

Moulin raced to a 2-0 lead, but in the third game, Thompson started to settle into the match and find her form.  

Thompson countered Moulin’s offensive play early in the match and was able to turn the tide of the match. After being down 0-2, Thompson reeled off six straight games to win the set, 6-2.  

Thompson came back again the second set after Moulin raced to a 3-1 lead in the set. Thompson continued to play her game. Thompson trailed until 4-5, where she then won the final three games, clinching the match, 6-2, 7-5. 

Clemson’s Medvedeva and Sipek both fell in their singles’ matches in closely contested encounters.  

Level at 3-3, one more match between Despain and Voloh remained to determine who would come out on top. 

Voloh got the early lead and secured the first set for the Dukes, 6-3. Despain quickly made adjustments in the second set, looking to prolong rallies and target Voloh’s backhand. 

The second set was closely contested. Voloh saved two set points on her serve at 5-6, but Despain converted on the third set point, winning the set, 7-5. 

Voloh applied pressure on Despain early in the third set, getting out to a 2-0 lead. Despain got the break back and held serve to level the score, 2-2.  

The match went back and forth until Despain converted a breakpoint with a forehand down the line winner at 4-3. 

Despain took that momentum to win the match, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4. 

Clemson women’s tennis will play again Friday, April 8, when they travel to Chapel Hill to face North Carolina at 3 p.m. 

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