Pitt tennis served up loss to Penn State, 4-3


Alex Mowrey

Sophomore Gabriela Rezende won her match at Penn State Sunday afternoon in straight sets. Photo Courtesy of Pitt Athletics

The Panthers were one match away from winning, but the hosting Penn State Nittany Lions came away with a victory over the Pitt women’s tennis team Sunday afternoon, 4-3.

“Unfortunately, today we weren’t able to get the outcome we were looking for, but we left the courts with no regrets in terms of our fight and ambition,” head coach Alex Santos said in a press release following the match.

The dual meet began inauspiciously, with the Panthers dropping both of their doubles matches to the Nittany Lions to start the match at a 1-0 disadvantage.

Sophomore Gabriela Rezende kicked off the afternoon’s singles play for the Panthers with a straight set win over redshirt senior Jacqueline Zuhse, 6-4, 6-2. Following up on Renzende’s success, senior Audrey Ann Blakely won her match in a closely contested three-set battle over redshirt senior Devan McCluskey to take a 2-1 lead in the meet.

Redshirt senior Amber Washington kept the team’s momentum going, defeating Penn State’s No. 81 senior from Moscow, Katia Blik. The match was highly competitive, with Washington eking out the win on two straight tiebreak sets, 7-6, 7-6.

After Washington’s victory, the Panthers went cold, dropping every subsequent match to lose the meet.

Junior Callie Frey played for the Panthers, but lost against Penn State’s Belarusian senior, Dasha Sapogova, in three sets, 6-1, 2-6, 5-7. Her match was succeeded by two uneventful, straight set losses by first-year Jovana Knezevic and sophomore Clara Lucas.

“We overcame a tough start in doubles to play with such confidence and poise in singles,” Santos said in the release. “We all wanted to win but this moment will make us want it even more and keep progressing as a program.”

With the loss, Pitt falls to .500 on the year with a 2-2 record.

The Panthers’ next meet will be on the road Feb. 25, against their in-conference foe Louisville at 1:30 p.m.