Pirates Return Home To Host Penn State | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of ECU Sports.

    GREENVILLE, N.C.     After nearly a month without a home match, the East Carolina women's tennis team will host Penn State on Friday afternoon at River Birch Tennis Complex.

    "We are excited to host our first ever Big 10 program tomorrow and are hoping for a big crowd to help us defend our home court!" said head coach Kirstin Burgess. "Penn State is a well-coached team so we are going to have to be on our games to get the upset."

    East Carolina (2-8) has yet to lose a match at home, but the Pirates have only played twice in Greenville. ECU is coming off a three-match road trip through Washington, D.C., losing a pair of heartbreaking 4-3 decisions at Georgetown and George Washington before finishing with a 4-0 loss at Maryland. Ines Bachir (8-9) and Alisha Hussain (8-8) are tied for the team lead in singles wins. Bachir picked up a pair of wins on the recent road trip while Hussain has won twice in her last three matches, as her match at Maryland went unfinished. Isabella Rivera Ortiz played on court one for the first time against the Terrapins and she is also a part of the ECU doubles tandem with the most wins this season, going 5-4 alongside Ann Lou Champion. The Pirates have improved recently in doubles play, winning the doubles point against both Georgetown and George Washington, a feat they had pulled off just once in the prior seven matches.

    Penn State (5-6) has two more matches on its nonconference schedule, starting with the Pirates on Friday followed by a trip to UNCW on Saturday afternoon. The Nittany Lions are coming off a busy weekend, playing Ohio State (L, 7-0) on Friday before splitting a Sunday doubleheader against Penn (L, 4-0) and Bucknell (W, 6-1). Penn State will be playing its seventh road match of the year, having gone 3-3 on the road, as well as 0-1 on neutral courts. Sofiya Chekhlystova leads Penn State with a 6-2 singles record, all on court one. Yvonne Zuffova also has six wins on her record, compared to three losses and she has played on court one (1-1), court two (4-1) and court three (1-1). In doubles, Gabby O'Gorman has gone 7-2 with various partners to lead Penn State. Her most successful duo has come with Chkhlystova, a partnership that is 5-2 together.

    It will be the first ever meeting between East Carolina and Penn State. Since 2005, the Pirates have only played a pair of matches against Big Ten opposition, with the last coming this week. East Carolina lost that match to Maryland, but ECU did beat Minnesota 7-0 on March 8, 2016 with that match being played in Puerto Rico.

    First serve is scheduled for 1 p.m., at River Birch Tennis Complex. Admission is free for all fans.
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