The women's tennis team continued its hot streak Saturday morning at Helfaer Tennis Stadium, with a come-from-behind 5-2 victory over the Seton Hall Pirates, but Syracuse cooled Marquette off Sunday with a 7-0 win.The weekend split left the Golden Eagles with an overall record of 8-12, 2-2 Big East and no closer to achieving head coach Jody Bronson's goal of having a .500 season.
After losing the doubles point, Marquette stormed back to take its first five singles matches against the Pirates.
"It was tough not winning doubles so we knew it was going to be hard going into singles (against Seton Hall)," said Bronson.
Apparently not too tough, though. After losing their No. 1 doubles match, sophomore Maria Calbeto and freshman Laura Little won at No. 1 and 2 singles, respectively. Calbeto defeated Viviana Figueroa 6-4, 7-6 (5). Little used a sharp forehand shot to get the gritty 6-3, 6-4 win over Seton Hall's Amanda El-Tobgy.
Calbeto and Little have been invaluable to the Golden Eagles of late. The duo has won four of their last six doubles matches. In singles, Little lost for the first time in six matches against Syracuse's Catherine Zawadzki despite playing well. Calbeto is four for her last six in singles. The chemistry has been apparent with Calbeto using an accurate backhand shot and Little using a strong forehand.
"Today was extremely disappointing for us," said Seton Hall head coach Ilene Weintraub. "Once we got the point in doubles, we relaxed, and anytime you do that you aren't going to get a win. You have to keep the same level of intensity throughout, and we just didn't get it done."
"I am so proud of the way they battled in every match," Bronson said after beating Seton Hall. This win against the Pirates marks the second match Bronson has seen the "complete effort" she so often talks about. That effort was missing early on as MU stumbled out of the gates to a 3-11 start.It is clear that Bronson's team is playing far better tennis than it did early on. While it was clearly overmatched Sunday against Syracuse, Marquette managed to keep its unforced errors down. The team's younger players, Little and Calbeto in particular, are learning how to close matches.
MU has three critical road matches down the stretch against DePaul, Notre Dame, and then Louisville before the Big East Championships begin April 20 in Tampa, Fla.