The ACC is a powerhouse in nearly every collegiate sport, and tennis is no exception. Like many smaller programs, Boston College women’s tennis has struggled in conference competition, starting the slate off with a dramatic win against Syracuse but then conceding every game since. That was until last weekend, when the Eagles cinched a decisive victory over Virginia Tech to revive their winning ways. BC headed into Friday afternoon against No. 12 Florida State with renewed confidence, aiming for an upset to boost its conference record heading into the latter half of the season.
That confidence proved a bit preemptive, though, as the Eagles let a heartbreaker slip through their fingers in the final set of the match, falling to the visiting Seminoles, 4-3.
FSU (14-3, 6-1 Atlantic Coast) gained momentum early when it seized the doubles point. Its lethal pairing of Emmanuelle Salas and Ana Oparenovic took down BC’s (11-6, 2-6) top seed in Yufei Long and Jackie Urbinati, 6-2, while Kylie Wilcox and Natasha Irani struggled on the adjacent court against the Seminoles’ Carla Touly and Ariana Rahmanparast. The Eagles fell in an identical 6-2 fashion across all doubles courts, giving the Seminoles a leg up headed into singles competition.
BC put up a fight on the singles courts, but ultimately fell short in the final set. Touly manhandled Long in the first court, cruising to a two-set victory 6-3, 6-2. Beside them, Salas took Wilcox to three sets in a dramatic matchup. Wilcox narrowly took the first game before allowing Salas to double up on her in the second, 6-3. It was Wilcox who took the final set, however, edging out Salas in a 7-6 victory to keep the Eagles’ hand in the game.
Urbinati pulled out her No. 3 matchup against Nandini Das in three sets, beating the Seminoles’ freshman, 7-5, in the final game to tally another point for the Eagles. BC’s Elene Tsokilauri knotted the score at 3-3 after her three-set victory over Juliana Mikulski, exhibiting an impressive serving game and an uncanny ability keep the ball in play. In the matches’ final nail-biter, all heads turned to the middle court.
Laura Lopez took on Andrea Garcia in the decisive match point. It appeared as if the Eagles were going to improve to 3-5 in conference play, as Lopez took the first set by a healthy 6-2 margin. Despite stellar net play and a valiant effort on Lopez’s end, Garcia outlasted her, sweeping the next two frames, 7-5, 6-3, to seal the victory for the Seminoles.
While BC has faced plenty of obstacles thus far this season, its conference record is hardly indicative of its talent level. The Eagles are capable of competing with the best of the ACC. BC will head south to take on No. 37 Georgia Tech in Atlanta on Sunday, where it hopes to finally establish a presence within the conference and bounce back from a narrow loss.
Featured Image by Ikram Ali / Heights Editor