Doubles pairings propel Orange past Cardinals in 4-2 home victory

first_img Published on March 27, 2015 at 7:23 pm Contact Kevin: kjpacell@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+ The first two doubles matches had split results, and all eyes were on Valeria Salazar as she served to win her doubles match with Komal Safdar. She hit a powerful serve and then proceeded to hit a solid groundstroke off a short bounce later in the point. They won the point off an unforced error from Louisville to go up 40-30, and their fans went wild.“That’s one of the things that she does really well,” Syracuse head coach Younes Limam said, “… she almost plays better under pressure.”A few points later, Safdar and Salazar won the set. It was one of two victories, along with one from Amanda Rodgers and Rhiann Newborn, that earned the doubles point for Syracuse (7-8, 2-7 Atlantic Coast) over Louisville (10-10, 2-5). And it helped propel the Orange to a 4-2 victory on Friday afternoon at Drumlins Tennis Center.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSafdar and Salazar played a strong match from the start, going up a break early at 2-1 and breaking again to take a 6-3 lead.Their service games were equally strong, including one in which Salazar served that only took four points to complete and another on Safdar’s serve that took them five.Despite giving up a break in the next game as a result of unforced errors, they continued their success by holding serve for the rest of the set and winning 8-6.“We took care of our serves today,” Safdar said. “And then on the returns that gave us a little bit more room to go for things, and we just made our returns in and we got to the net and we finished the point.”Rodgers and Newborn found a similar final result, but not before struggling for a while.The pair broke Louisville in the first game, but then gave it right back to them on Rodgers’ service game. Their next service game, this time with Newborn at the baseline, was also broken, and the Cardinals were up 3-1.“I just think we were having a slow start,” said Rodgers, a contributing writer for The Daily Orange. “We weren’t … moving our feet as much, we were missing some returns, just some easy shots that we were missing, and they were kind of stepping it up with the energy.”From there, it was all Rodgers and Newborn.They fought back quickly, breaking Louisville to get back on serve. In their next game, they showed their confidence by fist-pumping and yelling after they won a lengthy rally.They went on to win six of the next seven games, taking the set 8-4.Newborn said their success came from aggressive play, with the pair attacking the net player and getting to the net.“We didn’t give up,” Newborn said. “We were just playing really well and of course, they were missing a whole bunch.”Rodgers, Newborn, and Safdar all went on to win their singles matches, giving Syracuse the victory.And Safdar said winning the doubles point certainly helps the later stages of matches.“The momentum, that’s a huge key,” she said. “Just winning that point, having the crowd invested in it, it carries right over into singles.”The doubles point that Syracuse won on Friday was SU’s first since March 1 and the second since February 14.After such a slump, Limam was happy with what he saw. In particular, he praised the team’s ability to win its service games and play well at the net.“They came in with a lot of energy,” Limam said, “and I thought we did a great job at not panicking even when things weren’t going our way at some stages of the match.” Commentslast_img

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