UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond dominated JMU, 6-1, Thursday afternoon at Westhampton Courts on senior day.
Seniors Helen Cunnigham and Joanna Matuszczyk were honored in a pregame ceremony before the match.
"The day had a lot of emotions floating around with our seniors playing their final home match," said head coach Mark Wesselink. "I thought we focused well and worked hard to get a good win before heading to the A-10 Championships."
The Spiders started with a decisive win by Cunningham and Smyth at No. 1 doubles, 8-1. The Dukes battled back to take the No. 3 doubles point over Matuszczyk and Nil Horoz 8-6. The No. 2 doubles tandem of Elizabeth Sims and Melissa Kandinata then turned away two match points to take a dramatic win and momentum boosting point over the visiting Dukes.
In singles, Kandinata, fresh off the injured reserve list, set the tone with a convincing 6-1, 6-2 win. Next was Cunningham, who won 6-4, 6-2. At No. 5 Junior Alex Smyth played a smart match and using a variety of weapons and took control 6-3, 6-2. Sophomore Elizabeth Sims sealed the win with gutty 7-6, 6-2 victory.
No. 6 Nil Horoz had to come from behind and saved four match points with some fearless tennis, to snag a 13-11 win in the super-tie-break.
"Everyone was feeling good about getting Kandinata back and competing at full strength," said Wesselinkl. "Melissa looked very solid after her lay off. Senior Helen Cunningham seems to have a knack for bringing her best when it counts and she showed that again today in doubles and singles. I feel good about our senior leadership and the whole team's ability to step it up when we need it." I like our chances at A-10's."
Three-time defending champion Richmond seeks its fourth-straight conference crown at next weekend's A-10 Championships in Charlottesville.