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Lady Braves tennis nets win in opener

By NIck Phillips

February 9, 2012

Mia Winterbottom
File photo by Nick Faulkner
UNCP's Mia Winterbottom connects on a return shot last season. Winterbottom and the Lady Braves tennis team won their 13th-straight season opening match against Newberry on Feb. 3.

The UNCP women's tennis time split the singles competition and won two of three doubles matches on the way to a season-opening win against Newberry on Feb. 3.

The win is the Lady Braves' 13th-straight win in season openers, and it was the first time UNCP matched up against Newberry since 2002.

In doubles play, UNCP's No. 1 team of Mia Winterbottom and Hannah Herlocker were defeated by Newberry's top tandem of Ariel Strong and Susana Aguirre before the Lady Braves' No. 2 and 3 teams won their matchups.

UNCP freshmen pair Shelby Bickel and Leigh-Anne McAfee took down Marina Ziehe and Romina Adum 8-6 in No. 2 action, and the Black and Gold No. 3 team of Madeline DiNunzio and Monica Espitia defeated Amanda Simmons and Shannon McManus by an 8-2 margin.

The Lady Braves grabbed three singles wins, in the Nos. 1, 4 and 6 matchups. Winterbottom rolled past Strong (6-2, 6-2) in No. 1 action, while Bickel surrendered just two games in toppling Ziehe (6- 0, 6-2) on court No. 4. Espitia gave the Lady Braves the match-clinching point with a 6-2, 6-3 win over McManus in the No. 6 singles matchup.

For Newberry, Aguirre bested McAfee 6-4, 6-1 on court No. 2, while Adum defeated Herlocker 7-6, 6-0 in the No. 3 singles matchup. Emily Helsel defeated DiNunzio 6-3, 3-6, 10-5 on court No. 5 for the hosts' three singles victories.

The Lady Braves will return home for their next two matches, beginning first on Feb. 11 when they host Pfeiffer before taking on Coker on Feb. 16.

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Updated: Saturday, March 24, 2012
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