Shorthanded Firebirds Prevail Again, 5-4 at St. Thomas Aquinas

Senior Alena Skobkina improved to 5-0 in dual match singles play this season.
Senior Alena Skobkina improved to 5-0 in dual match singles play this season.

SPARKILL, NY – Despite an insufficient lineup that forces the Firebirds to forfeit two matches, the University of the District of Columbia women's tennis team prevailed to win once more by a final score of 5-4 over East Coast Conference foe St. Thomas Aquinas College on Friday afternoon at Spartan Tennis Courts.

The Firebirds improved their conference and overall record to 4-1 with today's win, while the Spartans fell to 4-6 overall and 2-5 in league play.

UDC was led by its upperclassmen veterans, junior Dominika Hadnadova and senior Alena Skobkina, who teamed up for an 8-2 victory at No. 1 doubles and won each of their singles matches at No. 1 and 2, respectively. Skobkina improved to 5-0 on the season in dual match play with a 6-3, 6-3 win over STAC's Nyenyeri Kanefu, and Hadnadova is now 4-1 after defeating Bianca Signore, 7-6(6), 6-1.

The Firebirds were defeated, 8-3 at No. 2 doubles, forfeited matches at No. 3 doubles and No. 6 singles, and then lost at No. 5 singles, leaving them one point away from defeat, trailing 4-1. Skobkina and Hadnadova were the first two Firebirds to complete their singles wins, and next came at No. 3 singles by sophomore Paula Avellan, 6-0, 6-0 vs. Katarina Lopez to tie the match, 4-4.

Both teams' fates would rest with the winner of the No. 4 singles match between UDC's Estefania Castrillon and STAC's Sara O'Brien. Castrillon outlasted O'Brien after two tie-breaks to win the first set, 7-6(2), but O'Brien bounced back to win the 2nd set, 6-4. The pivotal 3rd set to decide the entire match was won by Castrillon, 6-3, and with that, the Firebirds secured their 3rd straight league win – all three of which have come by the identical score of, 5-4.

UDC will conclude the fall regular season next week with two ECC road matches at NYIT (Friday, October 21st) and LIU Post (Saturday, October 22nd).