Weekend Recap: Miami falls to USC and Vanderbilt

Senior Isabella Pfennig prepares to serve during a singles match against Texas Christian University on Friday, Jan. 12 at the Niel Schift Tennis Center. Photo credit: Raul Maristany (Miami Athletics)

The Miami Hurricanes women’s tennis team suffered a pair of tough losses to two tough opponents this past weekend during the Women’s Tennis ITA Kickoff Weekend.

On Friday, the ‘Canes had a matchup against No. 18 USC. In the first matches of the afternoon, the Trojans were able to beat the ‘Canes in doubles.

Miami seniors Isabella Pfennig and Leonie Schuknecht fell to Parker Fry and Grace Piper of USC, 6-3. In the next match, USC secured the doubles point, 6-2, as junior Alexa Noel and sophomore Xinyi Nong couldn’t pull the upset on USC’s No. 10 Erin Cayetano and Emma Charney.

Things did not improve for the ‘Canes as the match continued. In singles, USC kept up its high level of play. No. 83 Cayetano defeated Miami’s Nong, 6-0, 7-5, while Schuknecht fell to USC’s No. 66 Piper, 6-3, 6-4. USC now led 3-0 in the match.

Miami was able to swing some momentum back to its side before ultimately falling 4-2. Senior Audrey Boch-Collins beat USC’s Lily Fairclough, 6-4, 6-2, and No. 25 Noel took down No. 33 Han, 6-2, 6-3, before No. 22 Charney beat Miami’s No. 90 Pfennig to clinch a USC victory.

This then set Miami up to play in the consolation match with Vanderbilt.

On Saturday night, the ‘Canes lost the double point once again. Miami’s Pfennig and Schuknecht fell 6-1 to Vanderbilt’s Holly Staff and Sonya Macavei. In turn, No. 17 Celia-Belle Mohr and Anessa Lee beat Miami’s Noel and Nong, 6-2, to put the ‘Canes in an early hole.

The singles courts proved to be more of the same for Miami. Fifth-year senior Balzert lost to Vanderbilt’s No. 24 Stammel, 6-1, 6-2. Nong was also unable to defeat her opponent, No. 95 Staff, as she fell 6-3, 6-4. Vanderbilt went on to secure the 4-0 victory as No. 75 Ray beat Schuknecht 6-1, 7-5, 6-6 to secure the Vanderbilt win.

The Hurricanes get a little break before playing host to the Texas A&M Aggies on Feb. 2.