Syracuse overcomes Louisville’s ‘disrespectful’ needling, wins 5-2

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 25, 2018 at 4:26 pm Contact Anthony: [email protected] UPDATED: March 27, 2018 at 2:16 p.m.Emotions were running high inside Drumlins Country Club.Syracuse’s Anna Shkudun and Louisville’s Tiffany Huber started a shouting match early in the second set of a tight match at fourth singles. Huber tried to claim a let point — a mulligan — as a stray ball from a different court came onto her court as she missed a return. The umpire sided with Shkudun, and the SU graduate student was awarded the point.Shkudun had lost her last two singles matches the previous weekend, both decided by a handful of points. This time, Shkudun served out both sets comfortably, 6-4, launching No. 32 Syracuse (12-3, 4-3 Atlantic Coast) to its second home win of the season against a ranked opponent. The Orange defeated No. 48 Louisville (13-5, 3-4), 5-2, on Sunday afternoon, overcoming the difficulties of playing an unconventional team with multiple players who the Orange said were disrespectful.Shkudun and Gabriela Knutson both said that UofL players needled SU throughout the match and made playing tennis during the points more difficult. It was up the Orange to set the distractions aside and just play tennis.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“They definitely try to do whatever takes to win,” Knutson said. “Usually I say that in a respectful way but they kind of play dirty. They cheer obnoxiously and don’t respect the game enough.”The antics began with the doubles match featuring Knutson and her partner, Miranda Ramirez. Their opponents, Mariana Humberg and Abbie Pahz, frequently mixed in the drop serve, an underhand slice serve short in the court.The Cardinals’ pair also mixed in unusual formations, sometimes with both players starting in the forehand corner of the court prior to the serve. Once the serve was hit, the server would then run over to cover the other half of the court, a tactic seldom used. During the points, the Louisville pair used slice forehands, drop shots and plenty of guile.Ramirez and Knutson struggled with their unorthodox opponents in the opening few games of the match, and found themselves trailing 3-2. Then, Knutson’s and Ramirez’s power took its toll, as the top pair won, 6-3.SU clinched the doubles point moments later as Shkudun and Sofya Golubovskaya won, 6-2, at second doubles.“I look at it with a little bit of disrespect, is that really what you have to do to win?” Knutson said. “I’m just really happy we were able to overcome that.”Knutson had no issues with her opponent at first singles, winning 6-2, 6-3. She was, however, unhappy with Pahz, who played third singles on the court next to her. Pahz was screaming excessively during her match with Golubovskaya, Knutson said, trying to distract both Golubovskaya and the other matches on the court. With the courts in close proximity, sound reverberates throughout Drumlins whenever someone shouts. At one point, Louisville assistant coach Kevin Fulton asked the umpire to tell the crowd to calm down its cheering during points.On the other side of Drumlins, Ramirez and Shkudun both dealt with odd moments in between points and games.“Honestly it seems like they were a little bit disrespectful to us,” Shkudun said. “They were pretty loud, they were going to the bathroom in the wrong moments.”Towards the end of the first set, Huber took a bathroom break to try and halt the momentum Shkudun had gained, she said. Even after she faltered late in sets against Clemson and Wake Forest in last week’s matches, Shkudun bested Huber with efficient serving and controlled aggression off the forehand wing. Shkudun forced her opponent to do most of the running, and in most matches, that equates to success. On Sunday, Shkudun’s win meant a fourth point for Syracuse and a fourth win in conference play.At second singles, Ramirez struggled against Humberg’s guile and shot making and quickly found herself in a 6-2 first-set hole. Just when she seemed out of the match down 4-2 in the second set, she found a new gear.Ramirez battled back to take a 5-4 lead in the set as she smashed multiple forehand winners in a row. Then, her opponent called the trainer. Humberg had the trainer look at her hand, and made Ramirez wait another minute plus before the ensuing game. Ramirez went on to drop the second set and the match in a tiebreaker, 6-2, 7-6.“They tried to change the momentum and take some long breaks here and there,” head coach Younes Limam said. “But I’m pleased with how our team handled that.”Limam declined to comment specifically on whether he thought the Louisville players were out of line or unprofessional.Syracuse could have succumbed to the antics and allowed them to impact the match. By focusing on what it could control, the Orange picked up its second ranked win of the season, with four of its next five matches against ranked opponents.CORRECTION: In a previous version of this post, the number of Syracuse’s home wins against ranked opponents was misstated. Syracuse has two wins at home against ranked opponents. The Daily Orange regrets this error. Commentslast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *