Valle Costa Sends LSU to SEC Quarterfinals
Communications Student Assistant
NASHVILLE, Tenn. --- Joana Valle Costa clinched a 4-3 victory for the No. 21 LSU women’s tennis team over No. 17 Texas A&M in the second round of the SEC Tournament at the Currey Tennis Center Thursday.
The Tigers improved to 14-9; 6-7 SEC with the win while the Aggies fell to 16-12; 6-7 SEC.
“I thought we handled the adversity today really well with starting our match while the previous match was still going and then having to move indoors at a pivotal point,” co-head coach Julia Sell said. “We didn’t play our best today, but they were relentless with their purpose and we are very proud of that commitment to playing the right way.”
LSU clinched an early advantage by winning the doubles point for the third match in a row, winning courts one and three to enter singles play with a crucial 1-0 lead.
Valle Costa and Ryann Foster picked up the highest-ranked doubles win of their careers, defeating the No. 7 pairing of Rachel Pierson and Rutuja Bhosale 7-5 on court one. Jessica Golovin and Skylar Holloway pitched in with a 6-4 win over Saska Gavrilovska and Stefania Hristov on court three.
Texas A&M leveled the score at one apiece with a 6-1, 7-5 win on court six, followed by a 7-6, 6-2 win on court four to put the Aggies up 2-1.
Jade Lewis capped off an impressive three-set win on court one over. No. 19 Rachel Pierson to even the score at 2-2. The No. 21-ranked Lewis blitzed Pierson 6-0 in the first set before dropping the second set 7-5, then bounced back to dominate the third set, 6-2.
This is the second time Lewis has defeated Pierson this season and marks the second-highest singles win of the freshman’s career.
Things were leveled once again thanks to Foster’s huge 6-4, 6-4 win over Domenica Gonzalez on court three, putting the outcome of the match in the hands of Valle Costa, who was in the midst of a third set battle on court two.
Already up 5-3 in the third set, Valle Costa clinched the match for the Tigers by defeating No. 51 Bhosale 7-6, 1-6, 6-4 to leave the final score at 4-3 in favor of LSU.
The Tigers return to action in the quarterfinals tomorrow against top-seeded Vanderbilt tomorrow at 3 p.m. CT.
“Tomorrow is an opportunity to avenge a loss where we didn’t feel like we played our best in the regular season,” Sell said. “Our team is highly motivated to avenge this loss.”
For more information on the LSU women’s tennis program follow the Lady Tigers on Twitter @lsuwten and @LSUJuliaSell, on Instagram @LSUWTen and on www.Facebook.com/lsuwten.
Tennis Match Results
LSU vs. Texas A&M
April 20, 2017 at Currey Tennis Center
#21 LSU 4, #17 Texas A&M 3
1. #21 Jade Lewis (LSU) def. #19 Rachel Pierson (A&M) 6-0, 5-7, 6-2
2. #66 Joana Valle Costa (LSU) def. #51 Rutuja Bhosale (A&M) 7-6, 1-6, 6-4
3. Ryann Foster (LSU) def. Domenica Gonzalez (A&M) 6-4, 6-4
4. Saska Gavrilovska (A&M) def. Jessica Golovin (LSU) 7-6, 6-2
5. Macarena Olivares (A&M) def. Becca Weissmann (LSU) 6-2, 6-3
6. Eva Paalma (A&M) def. Skylar Holloway (LSU) 6-1, 7-5
1. #23 Joana Valle Costa/Ryann Foster (LSU) def. #7 Rachel Pierson/Rutuja Bhosale (A&M) 7-5
2. Domenica Gonzalez/Eva Paalma (A&M) vs. Jade Lewis/Becca Weissmann (LSU) 6-6, unfinished
3. Jessica Golovin/Skylar Holloway (LSU) def. Saska Gavrilovska /Stefania Hristov (A&M) 6-4
Texas A&M 16-12; National ranking #17
LSU 14-9; National ranking #21
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (6,4,1,5,3,2)