GREENSBORO-The Aggies hoped to walk away from the courts at the Piedmont Indoor Tennis Center with their second win on the season. But the Shaw Bears put up a tough fight, and defeated North Carolina A&T 5-2 on Friday afternoon.
Junior April Burrage won her second singles match and Sophomore Victorea Austin won her third straight singles match, at No. 5 and No. 6 respectively, to provide the points for the Aggies.
"The team is designed to win at 5 and 6, and that's what we're doing--we're winning at 5 and 6," said head coach James Dunwoody. "We're not getting what we ought to get from one through four. Shaw had a decent team. I personally thought that some of their girls were a lot tougher than ours-mentally tough, better grinders. I was impressed with the motivation of his team, the intensity of his team. They were a lot more intense than my team."
The Aggies (1-5, 1-0 MEAC) saw quite a fight from Shaw, who pressured the Aggies across the board, taking an early 1-0 lead by winning two of the three doubles matches. While A&T's freshman Kenya Colbert and Burrage defeated Sade Thomas and Desiree Bell, 8-0, in a quick No. 3 doubles match, the two other Aggies pairs were not so fortunate.
Junior Cayla Cross and senior Azeib Nigatu fell to Jessica Medina Perez and Lolia Kienka by an 8-6 final. Their doubles match was a closely contested one, as the Aggies were down just 7-6 before losing the match. Junior Nianna Henry and sophomore Kimberly Stalling lost to Vimbai Mawisire and Aline Ferreria in the No. 2 doubles match.
Dunwoody said that the No. 2 doubles pairing of Stalling and Henry have been struggling of late, and he will be looking to find a better lineup to help the Aggies get the point for doubles competition.
"I've got to make some adjustments to my doubles lineup," he said. "My No. 2 doubles team is not getting it, so I'm going to have to tweak the doubles lineup to figure out some kind of way to get one point in doubles."
In singles competition, Burrage and sophomore Victorea Austin were victorious, scoring the lone pair of points for the Aggies. Burrage won her second match of the season, defeating Ferreria 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 in the No. 5 spot. Austin took down Thomas 6-0, 6-0 at the No. 6 spot.
However, the Aggies lost in their No. 1-4 spots. Cross lost to Kienka 4-6, 4-6. But Dunwoody noted that Cross was much more disciplined in her match, reflecting her improvement. Nigatu fell to Perez 1-6, 1-6. At No. 3, Colbert lost to Claudia Silva, 1-6, 3-6. Stalling lost 4-6, 4-6 to Mawisire at the fourth court.
"April and Victorea are playing as hard as they can play and they're playing their role to the T. That's the positive part about the team." Dunwoody said. "Cayla showed more discipline in her match even though she had those tendencies to spray the ball. The way Victorea's playing we might have to consider moving her up more into the mix. "
The Aggies will look to bounce back from their loss on Saturday at 3 p.m., against East Carolina at the Piedmont Indoor Tennis Center.
Tennis Match Results
1. KIENKA, Lolia (SU-W) def. CROSS,Cayla (NCATW) 6-4, 6-4
2. PEREZ, Jessica (SU-W) def. NIGATU,Azeib (NCATW) 6-1, 6-1
3. SILVA, Claudia (SU-W) def. COLBERT,Kenya (NCATW) 6-1, 6-3
4. MAWISIRE, Vimbai (SU-W) def. STALLING,Kimberly (NCATW) 6-4, 6-4
5. BURRAGE,April (NCATW) def. FERRERIA, Aline (SU-W) 2-6, 7-5, 6-1
6. AUSTIN,Victorea (NCATW) def. THOMAS, Sade (SU-W) 6-0, 6-0
1. KIENKA, Lolia/PEREZ, Jessica (SU-W) def. CROSS,Cayla/NIGATU,Azeib (NCATW) 8-6
2. MAWISIRE, Vimbai/FERRERIA, Aline (SU-W) def. STALLING,Kimberly/HENRY,Nianna (NCATW) 8-3
3. COLBERT,Kenya/BURRAGE,April (NCATW) def. THOMAS, Sade/BELL, Desiree (SU-W) 8-0