ORLANDO, Fla., March 7, 2012 - The James Madison women's tennis team played its second of three spring-break matches in Orlando on Wednesday. The Dukes took down Ball State 5-2 and improved their record to 5-2 on the season, including 2-0 on the trip. Ball State fell to 5-6.
In a match that went back and forth from start to finish, the Dukes got key victories at the most important times, including four straight singles victories that ensured the JMU win.
JMU got the match started with a victory in No. 2 doubles when freshman Taylor Pinchoff (Sylvan Lake, Mich./West Bloomfield) and junior Katherine Bulling (Loveland, Ohio/Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy) topped the Cardinals' Ashlyn Rang and Sarah Hebble 8-4, to pick up their second victory of the season when competing together.
Ball State pushed back, picking up the victory in No. 1 doubles. In the match, Courtney Wild and Kristel Sanders took down the Dukes' senior/junior pairing of Kinsey Pate (Matthews, N.C./Butler) and Michelle Nguyen (Springfield, Va./South County) 8-4 and handed the Madison pairing their second doubles loss in as many days.
With the doubles point to be decided by the outcome of the No. 3 match, sophomore Ruxandra Andriescu (Brampton, Ontario, Canada) and junior Megan Douglass (Wilton, Conn./St. Luke's) rose to the occasion. The pair took down Ball State's Dena Boulieris and Lauren Pickrel 9-8 and gave JMU the 1-0 advantage in the match.
Sophomore Jacqueline Palmucci (Aurora, Colo./Cherokee trail) gave the Dukes a 2-0 match advantage in the No. 2 singles position. She beat Sanders in straight sets 6-0, 6-4, earning her fourth singles win of the spring season and her third in a row. Nguyen kept the Dukes' momentum going in No. 3 singles, also topping the competition in straight sets. She took down Rang 6-0, 6-0 and improved her season record to 5-2 in singles play.
Douglass earned the Dukes' victory in No. 4 singles. The Cardinals' Kylee Johnson took Douglass three sets before falling 6-1, 4-6, 10-6. The victory was Douglass' fifth of the spring season and her second in the last three matches.
Andriescu rounded out the Dukes' scorers. She picked up a victory in the No. 6 position, topping Pickrel in straight sets 6-4, 6-1.
Ball State picked up two points, both in three-set matches to round out play. Hebble took down Bulling 6-4, 4-6, 11-9 in the five spot just before Wild took down Pate in No. 1 singles 7-6, 4-6, 12-10. Bulling's loss was just her second of the season and ended a four-match winning streak.
The Dukes return to action in Orlando Friday, March 9 at 11 a.m., when they take on the Evansville Purple Aces. The Purple Aces are 7-3 on the season. They will face Sacred Heart and Radford on Thursday.
March 7, 2012 @ Orlando
JMU 5, Ball State 2
#1 Wild/Sanders (Ball State) def. Pate/Nguyen 8-4
#2 Pinchoff/Bulling (JMU) def. Rang/Hebble 8-4
#3 Andriescu/Douglass (JMU) def. Boulieris/Pickrel 9-8
#1 Wild (Ball State) def. Pate 7-6, 4-6, 12-10
#2 Palmucci (JMU) def. Sanders 6-0, 6-4
#3 Nguyen (JMU) def. Rang 6-0, 6-0
#4 Douglass (JMU) def. Johnson 6-1, 4-6, 10-6
#5 Hebble (Ball State) def. Bulling 6-4, 4-6, 11-9
#6 Andriescu (JMU) def. Pickrel 6-4, 6-1
Order of Finish:
Singles: 2, 3, 4, 6, 5, 1