The Stetson women’s tennis team (9-7, 4-2) lost its second straight Atlantic Sun Conference match on Saturday, falling to USC Upstate (10-5, 2-2) by a score of 4-3 at the Mandy Stoll Tennis Center.
At the number one position, freshman Andrea Crespo and senior Sara Lazarevic came back from a 5-1 deficit to trail just 6-5, but eventually fell by a score of 8-5 to give Upstate the doubles point and an early 1-0 lead in the match.
After dropping just her second singles match of the year on Thursday, Bukajeva got back to her winning ways on Saturday, tying the contest up at 1-1 with a 6-1, 6-2 win at the number three position.
Crespo quickly gave the Hatters a 2-1 advantage when she defeated fellow freshman Constanze Kuerten 6-2, 6-0 at number one singles. The Spartans tied the match once again, this time at 2-2, when Lazarevic fell to Isabel von Stryk 7-6 (4), 6-4 at the number two position.
Rallying from a 6-2 setback in the first frame, freshman Eveline Lepinay won two straight sets to earn a 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory at number five singles to give the Hatters the lead once again, at 3-2. In her first competition of the season, junior MayaBlue Stauffer-MacDowell also went three sets, eventually falling 6-4, 5-7, 6-2 at number six.
The final point of the match was at number four singles. Stetson senior Jen Miller and Upstate junior Taylor Cohen had already split the first two sets, when the Spartan led the Hatter 5-4 in the final frame. Miller won two straight sets to take a 6-5 advantage, but Cohen countered to tie it up, and eventually won the tie-breaker 7-5 to give the Spartans a 4-3 victory.
"The women played a good match today that was decided by the closest of margins," Director of Tennis Pierre Pilote said. "You have give a lot of credit to the USC Upstate team today."
Stetson will next go on the road to take on North Florida on Saturday, April 6. The Hatters and the Ospreys are scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. in Jacksonville.