WILMINGTON, Del. - - The Wilmington University women's tennis team made its 2022 debut with a tough matchup, making a comeback effort to defeat Jefferson, 5-2, on Tuesday afternoon at the Delcastle Tennis Center.
The Wildcats (1-0, 1-0 CACC) needed to shake the rust off quickly against the team that was voted second in the CACC Preseason Coaches Poll, as the Rams (3-1, 0-1 CACC) came after them from the start. Marley Trifunovic and Alva Norberg won their doubles match at No. 3, but then watched as the Rams won tiebreakers at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles to earn the doubles' point in the match.
It took until the spring season for the Wildcats to lose a doubles point a season ago, only dropping one doubles match all fall season.
The Rams then came out and took the first sets at No. 1, No. 2, and No. 4 singles, and went to a tiebreak in the first set at No. 5 singles. But then the match turned for the Wildcats, as Valentina Ivankovic fought back to win the tiebreak at No. 5.
Jefferson moved ahead, 2-0, with a 6-2 and 6-0 win at No. 5 singles, but then the Wildcats got on the board as Larize Nel won at No. 6 singles, 6-1 and 6-2.
Reigning CACC Player of the Year Neus Ramos Moreno took care of her opponent at No. 3 singles, 6-2 and 6-2, to even the match at 2-2. Jess Purdy battled hard to come back and take the second set at No. 1 singles, 6-3, and then picked the win at No. 1 as her opponent, unfortunately, needed to retire due to an injury.
After winning the tiebreaker, Valentina Ivanokovic continued to press and won the second set, 6-4, to secure the team victory with the fourth point, 4-2. Making her Wilmington debut, Carmelle Vial capped the comeback by winning at No. 2 singles after losing the first set. She came back to take the second set, 6-4 and earned the win with a 6-3 win in the third set.
The Wildcats will host Post for their next CACC match as well. The Eagles come to town on Saturday with the first serve set for 1:00 p.m.