Lost doubles point haunts Syracuse as ACC play starts

first_img Published on February 4, 2019 at 10:01 pm Contact Arabdho: [email protected] | @aromajumder After their doubles loss to Virginia, SU’s top doubles pair of Gabriela Knutson and Miranda Ramirez didn’t know what happened. They needed stronger starts. The two preached the importance of joking around and staying loose on the court. They’d have to analyze the loss later, Knutson said.Two days later against Boston College, the Orange’s top doubles pair bounced back with a 7-5 win. But this time, second and third doubles sunk Syracuse.The Orange (4-2, 0-2 Atlantic Coast) dropped their third-straight doubles point against Boston College. Two days earlier, Dina Hegab and Guzal Yusupova never recovered from going down 3-0 to start their match, and Virginia clinched the doubles point. In SU’s two ACC matches, the early deficit proved too much to make up in singles. Syracuse fought back to 3-2 against Virginia, but eventually lost 4-3. Versus BC, the Orange went down to the final point, but fell 4-3 again when Hegab lost her singles match. In both cases, their lost doubles point proved to be the difference.“It’s right out of the gate, how this match is going to go, who has the momentum,” Ramirez said about the doubles point. “So, that’s why it’s a really important thing for us to get right off the bat.”Susie Teuscher | Digital Design EditorAdvertisementThis is placeholder textWith the additions of freshman Sofya Treshcheva and Washington State-transfer Yusupova, doubles were expected to improve from last season, head coach Younes Limam said. Treshcheva paired with sophomore Sofya Golubovskaya, who had experience playing with Treshcheva in Russia. Yusupova rounded out the third doubles pairing with Hegab, creating a veteran duo that typically took on younger opponents.Through Syracuse’s first four matches, all out-of-conference, the three pairings dropped just two matches between them. Knutson and Ramirez bounced back from an ACC season-opening loss to Virginia and beat BC’s top pair Sunday. But Yusupova and Hegab lost both their ACC matchups, and SU’s second pair lost to BC.A doubles loss isn’t an insurmountable lead, most recently shown by Syracuse’s comeback over Purdue. One through six, Limam believes SU can take every point in singles, but so far in the ACC the Orange has struggled.No. 43 Gabriela Knutson has lost three singles matches in a row, her last two in straight-sets. Ramirez and Yusupova have been hot and cold. They both sit at 4-2 in singles, and Yusupova is riding a three-match win streak. Hegab clinched three-straight for Syracuse, including completing the comeback against Purdue, but her streak ended against Boston College. Golubovskaya has been the Orange’s best singles player, losing only once to No. 27 Brienne Minor. But four of her five wins came in three sets, and she had to come back from down 5-2 in the final frame vs. Columbia. Her partner, Treshcheva, is 3-2 with one match unfinished.SU has only won every singles point once this season. Losing the doubles point takes away the momentum from the Orange.“Before singles, the coaches will say, ‘It’s OK, take a deep breath, we got this,’” Knutson said. “But it’s hard.”Against Virginia, Limam wanted the pair to attack the net more. He wants opponents to earn the points and for SU to make less errors. SU’s third doubles pair was doing that in their first two matches, Limam said, and they just need to get back to that.“I know we lost the last one and the one today, but I don’t think that’s any means for us to worry,” Ramirez said after the Virginia match. “I’m still confident in all of our doubles.” Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more