No. 24 Syracuse sweeps Brown, 7-0, in season-opener

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Published on January 19, 2019 at 3:22 pm Contact Eric: estorms@syr.educenter_img New decor greeted Syracuse in Drumlins Country Club for its first match of the season. A fresh banner lists Gabriela Knutson and Miranda Ramirez as the program’s only ever All-American doubles pair. Another lists Knutson as the program’s third-ever All-American single player, the first since 1994 and 1995. On the opposite end of court four stands one for making the NCAA tournament in 2018, just the second time ever. Following one of the best seasons in program history, the No. 24 ranked Orange (1-0) showed no signs of easing up in 2019, easily defeating Brown (0-1), 7-0. For much of the afternoon, the Orange looked dominant. After winning the doubles point, Syracuse was able to clinch the match with just three singles points. Ramirez, Dina Hegab and Guzal Yusupova all won their matches in straight sets. Yusupova, making her Orange debut after transferring from Washington State, won 6-3, 6-0 in the most lopsided match of the day.“First match is never easy,” SU head coach Younes Limam said. “You have the butterflies, you’re never sure how that’s going to go. But we talked a little bit about what we could control.”No. 43 Knutson and No. 94 Sofya Golubovskaya, both were pushed into three sets. But even with those matchups in doubt, the remainder of the Syracuse lineup proved too much for the Bears.“I think that’s one of the things we’re really excited about this year,” Limam said. “We have a lot of depth, very good players that can play at any position. We knew that on paper.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDespite the lopsided victory, Brown made a push early in the doubles matches. Knutson and Ramirez won with an extra game needed, 7-5. The pairings of Golubovskaya and Sofya Treshcheva and Hegab and Yusupova swept the rest of the doubles matches, winning 7-6 and 6-4, respectively. Although that point didn’t make a difference in the scoreboard, Limam believed it was important in shaping the match and getting his team to close it out.“It’s our first match of the season, so we talked quite a bit about the importance of starting with the right tempo, playing aggressive tennis,” Limam said. “We’re also really glad on how we took care of business from start to finish.”In those doubles matches, whenever Brown made a move to get ahead, the Orange pushed right back. Even in Knutson’s singles’ match, she knew she just had to keep digging and not let the match get away.“I really want to be able to bounce back really quickly after every single point and that’s what I was working on,” Knutson said. “That’s why I’m really happy that I was able to win and keep my composure the whole time.”Despite dropping the second set, Knutson was able to hold off Devon Jack and win the third set 6-3. Treshcheva squeaked out her first set, 7-6, and then won her second set 6-2. With the Orange up 6-0, Brown forfeited the final point to Golubovskaya.The result, a 7-0 win, gives Syracuse a solid footing for another big year for the program. With the start of a new season and the dominant result to start, Knutson said the team felt ready. “We were all really positive, enthusiastic, upbeat,” Knutson said. “And no matter how the outcome would’ve happened today, I think it would’ve been a great start to the semester.”last_img

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