ODU Claims 4-3 Match Win Over William & Mary, Hristova Beats Ranked Opponent
NORFOLK, Va. - The Old Dominion University women's tennis team came out on top Friday evening with a 4-3 match victory against The College of William & Mary at the Folkes & Stevens Tennis Center.
ODU's No. 1 singles player sophomore Nikol Hristova picked up her first win against a ranked player by defeating William & Mary's nationally No. 90-ranked Masha Belaya in three sets to help ODU secure the team win.
"It was a really exciting win," said ODU Head Coach Dom Manilla. "Nikol cemented herself as our No. 1 singles player and this team got so amped up for our big match today. Even though we are not in the same conference there is still that same sense of hype and alertness that we get out of every match. Both teams really brought their best today and I think that the tough thing about it is they are strong where we are strong so we knew it was going to be a battle. It was a climactic ending to a great match today."
The match began with the Lady Monarchs taking victories at both No. 1 and No. 3 doubles as Old Dominion held serve with 8-6 and 8-1 wins. ODU's Melissa Olguin and Hristova (No. 1 doubles) both came away looking shape on serve in the outdoor conditions to defeat William & Mary by a thrilling 8-6 final.
"Me and Melli as partners are so motivated to win," said Hristova. "We told ourselves we have to fight to the last point, play our game and we did a great job."
On the No. 3 doubles court, ODU's Ivana Vukovic and Nika Khmolovska got off to a quick start and maintained good net play to earn the 8-1 victory.
No. 1 Singles began with ODU's Hristova falling behind early 6-2. However, the Lady Monarchs sophomore bounced back winning 6-2 in the second set to force a third.
Hristova's match was then suspended as both players (along with the No. 3 and No. 6 singles matches) had to move inside due to darkness. The Lady Monarchs sophomore managed to maintain her game as she came away with a 6-2 three-set victory over the No. 90-ranked singles player in the country. Hristova is now 7-4 this season.
"I had never played against this girl," said Hristova. "I knew it was going to be a really tough match and I expected to fight a lot and that's what happened. I'm so happy I won and I'm so glad that I made all the girls and the University happy."
Khmolovska defeated William & Mary's Sydney Smith by a 6-3, 6-2 straight set win and Olguin won the match against William & Mary's Julia Casselbury by a 6-2, 7-5 final.
The Lady Monarchs managed to help Old Dominion University win 10 points in the Optima Health Challenge against William & Mary with their team win Friday.
ODU travels to face VCU this coming Sunday at 2 p.m.
Check out our postgame audio interview here with Head Coach Dom Manilla and ODU No. 1 singles player Nikol Hristova on Twitter @ODUWomensTennis.
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MATCH RESULTS - ODU: 4, William & Mary: 3
1. Nikol Hristova/Melissa Esnal Olguin (ODU) def. Nabila Farah/Masha Belaya 8-6
2. Marijana Novakovic/Ingrid Vojcinakova vs. Julia Casselbury/Leeza Nemchinov (WM) DNF 7-7
3. Ivana Vukovic/Niki Khmolovska (ODU) def. Melanie Roy/Sydney Smith 8-1
1. Nikol Hristova (ODU) def. No. Masha Belaya (WM) 2-6, 6-2, 6-2
2. Leeza Nemchinov (WM) def. Ingrid Vojcinakova (ODU) 6-2, 6-0
3. Melanie Roy (WM) def. Marijana Novakovic (ODU) 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-1
4. Nabila Farah (WM) def. Ivana Vukovic (ODU) 6-1, 6-0
5. Nika Khmolovska (ODU) def. Sydney Smith (WM) 6-3, 6-2
6. Melissa Esnal Olguin (ODU) def. Julia Casselbury (WM) 6-2, 7-5