No. 33 SMU Defeats Penn State, ACU
The No. 33 SMU women’s tennis team ran its record to 15-2 with wins over Penn State and Abilene Christian University Friday at Turpin Tennis Stadium.
Against the Nittany Lions (4-9), sophomores Marta Lesniak and Aleksandra Malyarchikova picked up an 8-0 victory at No. 1 doubles to give the Mustangs an early advantage.
Senior Pavi Francis and freshman Edyta Cieplucha recorded an 8-5 win at No. 2 while freshman Shahzoda Hatamova teamed with senior Casey Kennedy to wrap up the doubles point with a win at No. 3.
“The most impressive thing about today was the fact that we continued to improve in our doubles,” head coach Lauren Longbotham-Meisner said on SMUMustangs.com. “I was really pleased with how we came out in the doubles for both matches and performed at a high level like I know we can.”
Cieplucha led off singles play with a straight-set victory (6-2, 6-4) over Penn State’s Maria Prishlyak before Francis (6-2, 6-2) and Malyarchikova (6-1, 6-3) did the same to secure the win for SMU.
Lesniak, Hatamova and freshman Katerina Vankova also won in their singles matchups to make it a 7-0 sweep over the Nittany Lions.
Ranked No. 59 among singles players by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, Lesniak came back from an early deficit to beat No. 66 Petra Januskova (4-6, 6-3, 10-6) at the top spot and improve her record to 7-1 against nationally ranked opponents this season.
Against ACU (13-3), the Mustangs again swept all three doubles matches to take a 1-0 lead.
Cieplucha led off singles with another straight-set win (6-2, 6-1) at No. 3 before Lesniak followed suit with a win (6-3, 6-2) over the Wildcats’ Jaclyn Walker at No. 1.
At No. 4 singles, Francis recorded yet another straight-set victory (6-0, 6-2) to give SMU the 4-3 win over ACU.
“She is confident, motivated and playing some really great tennis,” Longbotham-Meisner said of Francis. “I am proud of the way she has really stepped up her game her senior year.”
The Mustangs will host Virginia Commonwealth University (11-2) Saturday at 12 p.m. before a doubleheader Sunday against C-USA rival Southern Miss (7-6) and the University of Texas-Dallas (4-2).
First match Sunday against the Golden Eagles is set for 10 a.m. while the Mustangs will face the Comets at 3 p.m., and all games will be held at SMU’s Turpin Tennis Stadium.
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