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Syracuse season ends after 1st-round loss to Louisville in ACC tournament

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Despite grabbing an early lead, Syracuse saw its season end Wednesday afternoon in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.The 12th-seeded Orange (8-13, 3-11 ACC) nearly rallied back to win after dropping the doubles point, but fell 4-3 to 13th-seeded Louisville (12-15, 2-10) in Cary, North Carolina.“Today was a little bit more emotional than other days,” head coach Younes Limam said. “… It’s a little bit sad to see and to realize that it was our three seniors’ last match.”Louisville’s doubles tandem of Chloe Willetts and Ariana Rodriguez topped SU’s Valeria Salazar and Komal Safdar, 8-6, while Elle Stokes and Olivia Boesing beat Breanna Bachini and Nicole Mitchell by the same score to secure the doubles point for the Cardinals.Syracuse quickly tied the match when No. 1 singles player Amanda Rodgers made quick work of Stokes, 6-0, 6-3.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Amanda played great tennis from start to finish,” Limam said. “She played on her terms.”In the only other match that didn’t go the full three sets, Safdar disposed of Rodriguez at fifth singles, 6-4, 6-3, giving the Orange a 2-1 lead. And when Rhiann Newborn won her match at third singles, 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, it looked as if SU was in control.But things started to go downhill when Salazar lost her match at second singles. After winning the first set, she relinquished the lead, falling 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 to Manuela Velasquez.Louisville then evened the match as Boesing outlasted Bachini at fourth singles, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, leaving Syracuse’s fate in the hands of Mitchell at sixth singles.Mitchell dropped the first set but rebounded to win the second set, 6-2. She led the third set, 5-4, before dropping the last three games to lose, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5.“This was the first time that Nicole found herself in that position and it’s not a position that is easy to manage,” Limam said. “You’re a freshman and you’re playing to clinch the match. There were a lot of nerves, but I’m very proud of how Nicole handled the situation.”With Mitchell’s loss, SU’s season was over.The Orange will return four of its seven players for the 2015-16 season: Mitchell, Newborn, Salazar and Olivia Messineo. It will lose Bachini, Rodgers and Safdar, all of whom are graduating this spring. Comments Published on April 22, 2015 at 5:07 pm Contact Michael: mdburk01@syr.edulast_img read more