March 1, 2014
BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. - East Carolina used a Dana Gray singles win to break a three-all deadlock and record a 4-3 non-conference victory for the second time in as many days, this time over Gardner-Webb early Saturday afternoon at the Webb Tennis Complex.
In addition to Gray's clincher, the Pirates also benefitted from Michelle Castro and Emily Groeneveld's 8-7 tie-breaker decision over Jenny Lunde and Rokia Sacko at the No. 2 doubles position to capture the opening point.
The Bulldogs bounced back for singles wins at No. 2, No. 5 and No. 6 to take a 3-1 lead before Maria Storozheva sparked ECU's rally with a 7-5, 6-1 triumph against Ronia Hutterli at No. 3. Castro followed by downing Yasmin Doost 7-6, 6-4 in a No. 1 matchup to set the stage for Gray, who dismissed Valeriia Popko 7-5, 6-3 during a No. 4 meeting.
Gray, who pushed her singles mark 6-4 this spring during the two-day road swing, opened the trip by securing the Pirates' victory over Appalachian State Friday with a three-set decision.
Gardner-Webb (7-3) picked up its points via wins by Lunde over Groeneveld (6-2, 6-3 at No. 2), Sacko over Betsy Zurawel (6-4, 6-4 at No. 5) and Catherine White over Scarlett Walston (6-2, 6-4) to erase an early 1-0 deficit.
East Carolina (5-5) will return to action Tuesday when it travels to Norfolk to battle Old Dominion in a Conference USA match scheduled to start at 4 p.m.
EAST CAROLINA 4, GARDNER-WEBB 3
No. 1 - Michelle Castro (ECU) def. Yasmin Doost (GWU) 7-6, 6-4
No. 2 - Jenny Lunde (GWU) def. Emily Groeneveld (ECU) 6-2, 6-3
No. 3 - Maria Storozheva (ECU) def. Ronia Hutterli (GWU) 7-5, 6-1
No. 4 - Dana Gray (ECU) def. Valeriia Popko (GWU) 7-5, 6-3
No. 5 - Rokia Sacko (GWU) def. Betsy Zurawel (ECU) 6-4, 6-4
No. 6 - Catherine White (GWU) def. Scarlett Walston (ECU) 6-2, 6-4
No. 1 - Gray/Storozheva (ECU) def. Doost/Hutterli (GWU) 8-5
No. 2 - Castro/Groeneveld (ECU) vs. Lunde/Sacko (GWU) 8-7
No. 3 - Mary Walker Mixon/White (GWU) def. Walston/Zurawel (ECU) 8-3
Team Records: East Carolina 5-5, Gardner-Webb 7-3