HARRISONBURG, Va., March 23, 2012 - The James Madison women's tennis team defeated nationally-ranked California (Pa.) 5-2 on Friday. The Dukes dropped the doubles point but rallied back, winning five of the six singles matches to earn the victory.
The Vulcans jumped out to an early lead, taking the doubles point in the first two matches. Martina Rubesova and Franziska Steinhardt defeated Kinsey Pate (Matthews, N.C./Butler) and Taylor Pinchoff (Sylvan Lake, Mich./West Bloomfield) 8-4 in No. 1 doubles and Annabel Pieschl and Jade Pondicas took down Katherine Bulling (Loveland, Ohio/ Cincinnattie Hills Christian Academy) and Michelle Nguyen (Springfield, Va./South County) 8-4 in the No. 2 spot to grab an early 1-0 match advantage.
The Dukes, however, won No. 3 doubles, and began the momentum swing in JMU's favor when Megan Douglass (Wilton, Conn./St. Luke's) and Ruxandra Andriescu (Brampton, Ontario, Canada/Turner Fenton) defeated Anastassiya Zherdeva and Ramona Czakon 8-7 to round out the doubles portion of the match.
California (Pa.) made a push when Rubesova defeated Pate at the No. 1 singles spot, taking the point in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3, but the Dukes responded.
At No. 2 singles Jacqueline Palmucci (Aurora, Colo./Cherokee Trail) dropped Pieschl in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, to narrow the JMU deficit to one and Nguyen followed suit, taking down Pondicas, 6-4, 6-3 to knot the match at two apiece. Pinchoff put the Dukes ahead in No. 4 singles. She went the distance with Zherdeva before earning the win in the third set, 6-7, 6-2, 6-1.
In a make or break match at No. 6 singles, Bulling ended the Vulcans' hope, topping Czakon in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5 to secure the Madison win.
Rounding out the match at No. 5 singles, Douglass defeated Steinhardt in three sets, 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 for the Dukes fifth point.
Madison returns to action on Sunday, taking on Longwood at 3 p.m. at the Hillside Tennis Courts.
JMU 5, California (Pa.) 2
March 23, 2012
#1 Rubesova/Steinhardt (Cal.) def. Pate/Pinchoff 8-4(1)
#2 Pieschl/Pondicas (Cal) def. Bulling/Nguyen 8-4 (2)
#3 Douglass/Andriescu (JMU)def. Zherdeva/Czakon 8-7 (3)
#1 Rubesova (Cal) def. Pate 6-1, 6-3 (1)
#2 Palmucci (JMU) def. Pieschl 6-4, 6-4 (2)
#3 Nguyen (JMU) def. Pondicas 6-4, 6-3 (3)
#4 Pinchoff (JMU) def. Zherdeva 6-7, 6-2, 6-1 (4)
#5 Douglass (JMU) def. Steinhardt 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 (6)
#6 Bulling (JMU) def. Czakon 6-3, 7-5 (5)