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Mar 11, 2022

Women’s Tennis Outlasts No. 35 Notre Dame with Four Singles Victories


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CLEMSON, S.C. – Clemson women’s tennis got three-set victories from Juniors Eleni Louka and Ali DeSpain to clinch a thrilling 4-3 Tiger victory over No. 35 Notre Dame (8-6, 1-3 ACC) at the Duckworth Family Tennis Center on Friday. The comeback was the highest-ranked victory for second-year Head Coach Christy Lynch, who improved to 7-6 (1-4 ACC).

“This was an incredible match and victory for our team,” said Lynch. “Our theme for the day was ‘Carpe Diem’ – to seize the day. That’s what we did. Notre Dame have a great team and are very well-coached. I’m so proud of our team and the way we held our composure in big moments in the match. Ali and Eleni did an amazing job and both are captains of our team. Now it’s time to recover and get ready for another tough match on Sunday against Louisville.”

DeSpain, a junior, endured a nearly four-hour singles match, claiming court four, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 to clinch the Tiger victory over Nibedita Ghosh. DeSpain took a 4-2 lead in the third set, but Ghosh tied it up after a big break at 4-3. However, DeSpain responded with a break of her own. As the two got set to play after the changeover, rain forced the deciding match inside. After a 15-minute delay, DeSpain put the match away as Ghosh sailed her shot wide at 40-15. 

Notre Dame took the doubles point with wins on courts one and three. The Tigers roared back quickly with straight-set singles victories from Samantha Buyckx and Daniella Medvedeva on courts five and three, respectively. Buyckx improved to 15-5 on the season, and 3-1 in ACC play, and Medvedeva upped her season singles mark to 13-6. 

Notre Dame took the next two decisions on courts six and one, both in tiebreakers, to take a 3-2 lead. The match came down to courts two and four, as two Tiger veterans looked to outlast the Irish in three sets. Eleni Louka shook off the first set to win 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 against Julia Andreach on court two, turning the focus to court four, where Ali DeSpain battled Nibedita Ghosh. 

The Tigers return to action against Louisville on Sunday at noon at the Duckworth Family Tennis Complex. Admission is free and open to the public.


Clemson 4, Notre Dame 3

Singles competition

  1. #101 Page Freeman (ND) def. Cristina Mayorova (CLE), 6-3, 7-6(3)
  2. Eleni Louka (CLE) def. Julia Andreach (ND), 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
  3. Daniella Medvedeva (CLE) def. Yashna Yellayi (ND), 6-2, 6-0
  4. Ali DeSpain (CLE) def. Nibedita Ghosh (ND), 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
  5. Samantha Buyckx (CLE) def.Carrie Beckman (ND), 6-1, 6-3
  6. Maria Oliva Castedo (ND) def. Alexandra Anttila (CLE), 6-1, 7-6(5)

Doubles competition

  1. #36 Freeman/Castedo (ND) def. Mayorova/Medvedeva (CLE), 6-3
  2. Andreach/Yellayi (ND) led Buyckx/DeSpain (CLE), 6-5 dnf
  3. Beckman/Ghosh (ND) def. Sipek/Louka (CLE), 7-5

Match Notes:

Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (5,3,6,1,2,4)