FAU gets blanked by Hurricanes in season opener

Zack Kelberman

FAU's Natalia Tomaszewicz knocks an overhead shot in the Owls' loss to the University of Miami. Photo by Max Jackson.
FAU’s Natalia Tomaszewicz knocks an overhead shot in the Owls’ loss to the University of Miami. Photo by Max Jackson.
Neither singles nor doubles proved successful for the Lady Owls in their return to the court following a 10-9 campaign.

In the season opening match against the University of Miami, FAU’s women’s tennis was defeated in decisive fashion — 7-0 — by the ninth-ranked Hurricanes at Patch Reef Park.

The afternoon concluded with Owls captain Marlene Ryan dropping a fast-paced, intense battle against UM’s Lina Lileikite, 6-2 and 6-4.

“It’s frustrating,” Ryan said. “They’re a top 10 school, but we all have to improve. I’m disappointed that I lost. I know I can play better.”

Doubles matches began with FAU’s Taylor Briggs and Natalia Tomaszewicz taking on UM’s Melissa Bolivar and Clementina Riobueno. Bolivar and Riobueno won their set 8-1.

The next pairing pitted the Owls’ Natasha Phillips and Catalina Ene against the Hurricanes’ Kelsey Laurente and Brittany Dubins. Laurente and Dubins won 2-5.

Finally, FAU’s Natasha Basma and Stephanie Cardullo battled UM’s Lileikite and Stephanie Wagner. Lileikite and Wagner cruised in an 8-1 set.

After a brief intermission, the competition shifted to singles play.

Aside from Ryan’s duel, the last five singles matches were won handily by the Hurricanes: Laurente over Ene (6-2, 6-4), Bolimar over Basma (6-4, 6-0), Wagner over Tomaszewicz (6-0, 6-1), Riobueno over Cardullo (6-1, 6-1), and Deborah Suarez over Briggs (6-1, 6-0).

Ryan, a senior, says it was nice to start her final season, but admitted there’s a lot of work to be done from a personal standpoint.

“I need to work on my consistency,” Ryan said. “That’s just going to come with practice. Practice on my consistency, strategy. I’m a senior now so you have to be ready to come out and be ready to play.”

With nearly a month before the next contest, Ryan thinks the best is still yet to come.

“I’m excited,” Ryan said. “I’m very optimistic for the season. We’re going to do well.”

FAU women’s tennis plays UCF on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 11 a.m.