Firebirds Fight Off Wildcats for 5-4 ECC Victory

Dominika Hadnadova earned the decisive match point at No. 1 singles.
Dominika Hadnadova earned the decisive match point at No. 1 singles.

WASHINGTON, DC – Short one player, the University of the District of Columbia still managed a 5-4 victory over East Coast Conference foe Daemen College on a cool, Friday afternoon in our nation's capital.

With only five players in the lineup, the Firebirds forfeited matches at No. 3 doubles and No. 6 singles, but they managed to win two doubles matches and three of the five singles matches to pull off the win and improve to 2-1 on the season and in conference play.

The No. 2 doubles pair of sophomore Paula Avellan and freshman Estefania Castrillon got the Firebirds on the board with an 8-2 win, and the No. 1 doubles pair of junior Dominika Hadnadova and senior Alena Skobkina followed with an 8-2 victory as well. UDC led 2-1 heading into singles play.

Giving up the point at No. 6 singles meant the Firebirds had to win at least three of the five singles being played in order to win.  Newcomer Arielle Ward was defeated 6-0, 6-1 by Shaylah Iverson at No. 5 singles, but UDC forced a 3-3 tie with the completion of Avellan's 6-0, 6-3 win over Gretchen Ringler at No. 3 singles.

The next result in was Skobkina's 6-4, 6-3 win over Hayle Scanlan at No. 2 singles, as Skobkina remained unbeaten at 3-0 in singles play this season. Castrillon was not fortunate enough to earn the decisive match point for UDC, as she battled back to force a third set with a 6-2 second set win, but ultimately lost a tough match to Jessica Robins, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.

With the match knotted at 4-4, the winner would be decided by the No. 1 singles match between Hadnadova and Daemen's Karli Hollins. Hadnadova pulled out in front with a 6-3 win in the first set, but lost the second set 7-6 after four tiebreakers. With her team's fate in her hands, she prevailed for a 6-4 third set victory, and sent the Firebirds to a thrilling, 5-4 victory.

UDC is back in action on Sunday as they host the Roberts Wesleyan College Redhawks at 10 a.m.