WVU Falls to Iowa State in Big 12 Opener

  • By Christopher Pharis
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  • March 11, 2017 08:22 PM
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Morgantown, W.Va.The West Virginia University women’s tennis team won two singles matches, but ultimately fell to Iowa State, 4-2, at the Life Time Fitness Center in Urbandale, Iowa, on Saturday.
WVU opened the match by dropping the doubles point, as the Cyclones were able to best the Mountaineers in two of the three contests. Junior Lyn Yuen Choo and sophomore Paula Goetz were the only WVU doubles tandem to record a win in doubles play when they topped ISU’s Regina Espindola and Karen Alvarez, 6-3, on court No. 3 to begin the match.  
However, the Cyclones would rally to win the next two matches to ultimately secure the doubles point. Senior Kaja Mrgole and freshman Christina Jordan fell to Samantha Budai and Maty Cancini 6-3 at No.1. On the second court, Iowa State’s Annabella Bonadonna and Margarita Timakova defeated junior Habiba Shaker and freshman Sofía Duran, 6-4.
“Overall, today was not a good day for us,” fourth-year coach Miha Lisac said. “There were some individual performances that were better. Habiba (Shaker) was able to make a comeback in her match and close out the third set. Sofia (Duran) was able to battle through a little bit of an injury and win her match.”
The Mountaineers would begin singles play with a win as Duran bested Bonadonna 6-2, 6-2, to tie the match at one-all. The Cyclones would go on to claim victories in three of the next four matches to clinch the victory.
Timakova would then best Jordan, 7-6, 6-0 on the No. 3 court. ISU’s Cancini defeated Mrgole in two sets, 7-5, 6-1 at No. 2.  The Mountaineers would pick up their final victory of the day as Habiba Shaker dropped No. 100-ranked Budai in a close, three-set match (0-6, 6-1, 7-5) on the first court to move the score to 3-2.
Espindola clinched the match for the Cyclones, when she defeated Paula Goetz in two sets, 7-6 and 6-1, at No. 3. Lyn Yuen Choo and ISU’s Erin Freeman were in the second set when the match was called due to clinch rules.
The Mountaineers will be off next week before taking a tour through Kansas to take on the Jayhawks on Saturday, March 24, and Kansas State on Sunday, March 26. The match against Kansas is set to begin at 5 p.m. ET, while Sunday’s contest against Kansas State will begin at 10:00 a.m. ET. 
Singles Competition:
No. 1: Habiba Shaker (WVU) def. No. 100 Samantha Budai (ISU) – 0-6, 6-1, 6-4
No. 2: Maty Cancini (ISU) def. Kaja Mrgole (WVU) – 7-5, 6-1
No. 3: Regina Espindola (ISU) def. Paula Goetz (WVU) – 7-6, 6-1
No. 4: Natalie Whalen (ISU) def. Christina Jordan (WVU) – 7-6, 6-0
No. 5: Lyn Yuen Choo (WVU) vs. Erin Freeman (ISU) – 7-6, 3-3 (uf.)
No. 6: Sofia Duran (WVU) def. Annabella Bonadonna (ISU) - 6-2, 6-2
Doubles competition:
No. 1: Samantha Budai/ Maty Cancini (ISU) def. Christina Jordan/Kaja Mrgole (WVU) - 6-3
No. 2: Annabella Bonadonna/Margarita Timakova (ISU) def. Sofia Duran/Habiba Shaker (WVU) – 6-4
No. 3: Lyn Yuen Choo/Paula Goetz (WVU) def. Regina Espindola/Karen Alvarez (ISU) – 6-3
Order of Finish: Doubles (3, 1, 2); Singles (6, 4, 2, 1, 3, 5)
Keep up with West Virginia women’s tennis on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook by following @WVUtennis.