The Winthrop women's tennis team breezed past first-year Big South Conference foe Gardner-Webb, 7-0 at Winthrop's Memorial Courts Monday afternoon.
Winthrop (4-3, 1-0 BSC) was coming off a big win at 36th-ranked N.C. State on Saturday. The Lady Eagles were picked to win the Big South in the preseason poll and showed why as they won every match against Gardner-Webb in straight sets.
Sandra Herrera continued her strong play. The freshman from Lima, Peru, needed just 38 minutes at No. 3 singles to win, 6-0, 6-0. She started the season at No. 5 and won at that position last week at 32nd-ranked South Carolina. She won Saturday at N.C. State playing at No. 3.
Herrera is 4-1 in singles play in 2009.
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The match was the home opener for Winthrop and marked the start of conference action for both teams. The women were scheduled to take on USC Upstate at 9 a.m. Monday but that match was canceled due to wet courts and cold temperatures.
"We got a good start in Big South Conference play. Gardner-Webb is a good team. They didn't give away any free points," Winthrop tennis coach Cid Carvalho said.
Carvalho has a busy week with both his men's and women's teams in action at home Wednesday at 11 a.m. against non-conference Campbell, weather permitting. Thursday at 2:30 p.m., the men entertain Gardner-Webb. On Saturday at 11 a.m. both teams play host to Radford. The Radford men are ranked 68th nationally.
Gardner-Webb (3-4, 0-1 BSC) was coming off wins at Wofford and at home against Erskine.
Winthrop's Elizaveta Zaytseva teamed with Patricia Coimbra to win No. 1 doubles, 8-2, over Gardner-Webb's Laura Kreitt and Rita Gouveia. There was a long rally in the ninth game of the match. Zaytseva, playing the net, lunged to her right to spin a ball back to Gardner-Webb and lost her racquet in the process. Both Lady Eagles' players played the rest of the point smiling about the incident.
Winthrop went on to win the point and the game to go up, 7-2.
Herrera and Lisa Wilkinson paired up to win, 7-0, at No. 2 doubles over Jenny Gomez and Tavenner Black. The team of Sara Abutovic and Paula Pereira shutout the Runnin' Bulldogs' No. 3 doubles team of Amy Beavers and Kasey Ellis.
Zaytseva beat Kreitt in the No. 1 singles match, 6-4, 6-3. It was the longest and most contested match of the afternoon. Zaytseva, a sophomore from Ryazan, Russia, is playing her second season at No. 1 singles for Winthrop. She posted a 12-12 mark last year. She is 2-3 thus far this season.