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Popova powers women's tennis to first-ever victory over Stetson
Saturday, April 7, 2018
By Russell Vannozzi
Popova powers women's tennis to first-ever victory over Stetson

DELAND, Fla. – Streaks simply can’t last forever.

That was the mindset the Lipscomb women’s tennis team brought into Saturday’s match at Stetson. Entering the day, the Hatters had a perfect 12-0 record against the Bisons.

But Lipscomb finally broke through this time, downing Stetson by a score of 4-3 at the Mandy Stoll Tennis Center.

“I thought our girls came out with a ton of energy,” Lipscomb coach Jamie Aid said. “They were loud and engaged today. I was proud of how they competed – they wanted this match.”

In addition to the victory being Lipscomb’s first over Stetson, it was also the program’s first-ever win against an ASUN team from Florida, a group that also includes North Florida and Florida Gulf Coast.

Viktoriya Dzyuba and Kateryna Popova came through for the second time in three days, taking victories in their respective singles matchups.

Dzyuba made quick work of Stetson’s Arijana Korac in two sets, defeating the Sweden native by a score of 6-2, 6-3.

Popova’ match with Danel Ashirova went into a third-set tiebreaker, but the Lipscomb freshman completed her comeback by winning the extra point 7-3 to clinch the match for the Bisons.  

“It all came down to Kate’s court,” Aid said. “You just never know with a freshman, but she pushed it to a tiebreaker and then won it fairly easily.”

Lipscomb began the day with a sweep in doubles. The teams of Popova/Madeleine Brooks and Thabile Tshatedi/Katerina Kandyba each picked up 6-4 wins to clinch the point.

Tshatedi and Kanyba improved to their ASUN doubles record to 3-0. Popova moved to 14-2 in singles play.

“Our team is right there and peaking at the right time,” Aid said. “They have the potential to do some neat things in the next couple of weeks.”

FINAL RESULTS:

Lipscomb 4, Stetson 3
 
Singles:
1. Viktoriya Dzyuba (LIP) def. Arijana Korac (STET) 6-2, 6-3
2. Kateryna Popova (LIP) def. Danel Ashirova (STET) 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3)
3. Lucie Renault (STET) def. Madeleine Brooks (LIPW) 7-5, 0-6, 7-5
4. Denise Buberl (LIP) def. Vicky Geurinckx (STET) 6-3, 6-4
5. Brooke Milner (STET) def. Thabile Tshatedi (LIP) 6-2, 6-1
6. Maxine Bateman (STET) def. Katerina Kandyba (LIP) 6-4, 6-3
 
Doubles:
1. Lucie Renault/Brooke Milner (STET) vs. Denise Buberl/Viktoriya Dzyuba (LIP) 2-5, unfinished
2. Madeleine Brooks/Kateryna Popova (LIP) def. Danel Ashirova/Arijana Korac (STET) 6-4
3. Thabile Tshatedi/Katerina Kandyba (LIP) def. Vicky Geurinckx/Alexe Viaud (STET) 6-4
 
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (5,1,6,4,3,2)

UP NEXT:

Lipscomb will conclude its regular season with a pair of home matches next week. First up is USC Upstate at 2 p.m. on Thursday., followed by Senior Day against NJIT at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

Seeding for the ASUN tournament will be on the line. Lipscomb controls its own destiny and can clinch the No. 3 seed by closing with two victories.

“I think our girls are going to be locked in next week,” Aid said. “We really need to grab the No. 3 seed, which would be our highest seeding ever. The team is excited to play at home and have our senior day for Hannah Gamage.”