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Apr 03, 2022

DeSpain Clinches Victory for Clemson Over James Madison

CLEMSON, S.C. – The Clemson women’s tennis team (10-9, 2-7 ACC) came out on top of a nailbiter over James Madison (8-10, 0-0 CAA) by a final score of 4-3. Ali DeSpain fought back from a first set defeat to clinch the match for the Tigers on Court 4 with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 victory.

DeSpain and Samantha Buyckx won their doubles match to advance to 8-3 as a pair, James Madison quickly put pressure on the Tigers by securing the doubles point.

Buyckx continued her scorching season by leveling the score at one apiece with a convincing 6-0, 6-3 win on Court 5. She improved to 12-2 in the spring and 6-0 from Court 5. 

Cristina Mayorova gave the Tigers the lead with a 6-1, 6-2 on Court 1, her second win in as many days. Jenna Thompson put Clemson up 3-1 with a 6-2, 7-5 victory. The Tigers needed a win from one of Ali DeSpain or Lana Sipek, both of whom dropped the first set, to clinch. 

Sipek forced a third set but fell short, while DeSpain battled on Court 4 in an effort to secure victory for Clemson. The decisive set was level at 3-3 when DeSpain managed to win a deuce point to go up 4-3. She then broke serve to go up 5-3 and never relinquished the lead and hung on for the clinch as the Tigers advanced to 10-2 at home this season.

“This was a tough match!” said Head Coach Christy Lynch. “JMU played extremely well with no fear. I am very proud of our team for finding a way to win. Samantha has been a catalyst for us many times this season and for Ali to come through in a tough third set to clinch the match once again was impressive!”

Up next, the Tigers travel up to North Carolina for a match with UNC on Friday and Duke on Sunday. Friday’s match is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. while first serve on Sunday is scheduled for noon.

For all the most up-to-date information regarding Clemson women’s tennis, visit and follow @ClemsonWTennis on Instagram and Twitter.