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Eagles Women Tennis Edged By Chanticleers, 4-3, In Sun Belt Opener Saturday

Georgia Southern Women's Tennis falls on the road at Coastal Carolina; Eagles return to action at Troy next Saturday

CONWAY, S.C. - Coastal Carolina edged Georgia Southern women's tennis, 4-3, in both teams' Sun Belt Conference opener of the 2023 Spring season on Saturday in Conway.

The Eagles fall to 9-3 overall and 0-1 in the Sun Belt with the loss, while Coastal Carolina improves to 7-4 overall and 1-0 in the Sun Belt. Georgia Southern returns to action on Saturday, March 18, visiting Troy for a 1 p.m. ET matchup in Troy, Ala.

Coastal Carolina would come away with the pivotal doubles point on the day by winning at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles. The Eagles' lone win in doubles came at No. 2 doubles as Sonja Keranen and Ana Tsitavets downed Tatum Burger and Lilie Steryous, 6-3.

In singles, Coastal Carolina took the first set in four of the six singles matches. In the two first sets that Georgia Southern took, they quickly turned into straight-set singles wins as Silvia Martinez downed Victoire de Samucewicz, 6-3, 6-0, at No. 1 singles, while Paula Hijos defeated Steryous, 6-4, 6-4, at No. 6 singles.

The Chanticleers notched a straight-set win at No. 5 singles, tying the match at 2-2, with all three other singles matches going to a third set. Nanaka Kijima rallied from her first-set deficit to knock off Burger, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, at No. 4 singles, but the Chanticleers would notch the win with victories at No. 2 and No. 3 singles.

"Today was a hard fought tennis match," Georgia Southern Head Women's Tennis Coach Sean McCaffrey said. "I was really impressed in doubles with Sonja and Ana. They were fantastic. The truth is that Coastal simply makes very few unforced errors. They just play patient tennis and wait for their opponents and on either miss or feel uncomfortable.

"Silvia and Paula did a fantastic job getting their singles matches in pretty quick fashion. Silvia, in particular, was unstoppable. It looked for a minute that we turned the corner once Nana created some space with her lead at #4 singles and eventually closed out the win. But Coastal's #2 proved to be extremely tough in her third set against Ana.

Overall the team played really well at points throughout the match. It all came down to control scenarios and execution of our shots. We created opportunities quite often only to not make the most effective decisions in those moments where you need to be deliberate and zeroed in on good targets. We will improve our focus and clean those things up for our next match. There is no doubt about that."

Silvia Martinez (GS) def. Victoire de Damucewicz (CCU) 6-3, 6-0
Anna Babayan (CCU) def. Ana Tsitavets (GS) 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-0
Megan Hopton (CCU) def. Lindsay Tulenko (GS) 6-2, 3-6, 6-2
Nanaka Kijima (GS) def. Tatum Burger (CCU) 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
Jesse Hollins (CCU) def. Ninon Martinache (GS) 7-5, 6-1
Paula Hijos (GS) def. Lilie Steryous (CCU) 6-4, 6-4

Anna Babayan/Megan Hopton (CCU) def. Liv Ryan/Silvia Martinez (GS) 6-3
Sonja Keranen/Ana Tsitavets (GS) def. Tatum Burger/Lilie Steryous (CCU) 6-3
Jesse Hollins/Victoire de Samucewicz (CCU) def. Lindsay Tulenko/Nanaka Kijima (GS) 6-2