GREENVILLE, S.C. -- The Furman women's tennis team will play host to the East Carolina Pirates Saturday morning at 10 a.m. at the Mickel Tennis Center in Greenville, S.C. The match marks the fourth meeting between the two schools. The Paladins won last season's meeting, 5-2, to take a 3-0 lead in the series.
Furman (4-7) opened its Spring Break trip to Los Angeles last week with a close 4-3 loss at UC Irvine, then dropped a 5-2 match at Cal State Northridge. Down 3-0, the Furman women's tennis team rallied back to defeat Loyola Marymount, 4-3, Saturday to conclude the trip. The Lions came out strong, winning two out of three doubles matches to clinch the doubles point. Then in singles action, Loyola Marymount clinched wins at number three and number one to lead 3-0. A 6-1, 6-3 fourth-seed win by sophomore Katherine Oudin put the Paladins on the board.
Freshman Alex Moreno-Kaste came from behind for a 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory at number five to cut the deficit to 3-2, and junior Michele Stanford tied the match with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 triumph in the second singles contest, setting up a show-down at number six singles. Sophomore Amanda Murray dropped the first set, 7-6, then posted a 7-5 victory in the second set, pushing the match to a decisive third set. Murray rallied, taking the set 6-4 for the Paladin team victory.
East Carolina (6-9) concludes a nine-match road swing Saturday. The Pirates were swept, 7-0, at #13 North Carolina last Thursday. Prior to the match versus the Tar Heels, East Carolina picked up two wins in Puerto Rico, beating Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, 6-0, and Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, 7-0.
Furman opens the 2012 Southern Conference season Sunday at Georgia Southern. The team will take on the Eagles at noon in Statesboro. The Paladins posted an 8-2 SoCon record last season and finished third in the league's final standings. Furman concluded the 2011 season by reaching the finals of the SoCon Tournament, falling to College of Charleston, 4-3.
Following Sunday's match at Georgia Southern, the Paladins will return home for a three-match stint versus league foes. Furman will face Appalachian State Wednesday at 3 p.m. then will entertain Samford next Saturday at 11 a.m. Next Sunday, the Paladins will play host to Chattanooga at 11 a.m.