Strong singles play sends Syracuse to win over Pittsburgh

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Luke Jensen wasn’t satisfied with his players’ efforts. During the break between doubles and singles play, Jensen huddled his players around him and demonstratively instructed them to focus on their matches.“The mind is the biggest thing,” the Syracuse head coach said after the match. “When you’re going into competition, it can be your greatest enemy or your greatest strength.”The Orange took Jensen’s words to heart.Syracuse used a strong effort from its top singles players to dominate its match against Pittsburgh (3-3, 1-1 Big East) on Sunday morning at Drumlins. The win was the fourth straight for Syracuse (4-5, 1-1), and the first of the year in conference play.The top three singles players propelled the Orange, making quick work of their opponents to ensure the 6-1 victory. Sophomore Amanda Rodgers led the way for Syracuse at the No. 1 singles spot for the second time this season, taking a 7-5, 6-2 win over Pittsburgh’s Taylor Washington.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I think I just needed to weather the storm a little bit,” Rodgers said. “I played her last year, and I knew I was in for a fight today.”Like Rodgers, both Maddie Kobelt and Jimena Wu didn’t spend much time on the court before getting the win. All three top singles players were the first on the court to finish their matches.“It’s a really good sign that we have a really tough top three or top four,” Jensen said. “We can battle, and we’ve got to be able to battle.”Syracuse earned its fourth straight doubles point on Sunday, taking two of the three matches to jump out to the early lead.Kobelt and Wu each dropped four games en route to their respective victories. Brittany Lashway also stepped up in her second match since recovering from injury. She went on to win 6-3, 6-4.Lashway’s return allowed junior Aleah Marrow to get a breather. She suffered a mild sprain in her foot in the match against Binghamton on Friday.With Syracuse’s win Sunday, the Orange now has four straight wins at home. Syracuse entered the stretch with a record of 0-5.“We’re really big about how this is our house,” Rodgers said. “We don’t lose here.”The win over Pittsburgh comes on the heels of Friday’s victory over Binghamton. Syracuse dominated the Bearcats, not dropping a single set. Both Kobelt and Lashway cruised to 6-0, 6-0 finals.Overall, in the four matches at home this year, Syracuse has lost only three head-to-head matchups.“Drumlins has always been amazing to us. Our crowd has always been amazing to us,” Jensen said. “Look at what we do in other sports. It’s tough to play us here in Syracuse. It’s tough to get up here. It’s tough to live around here. It wears on [our opponents], and I think our athletes feed on that.” Comments Published on February 18, 2013 at 1:24 am Contact Sam: sblum@syr.edu | @SamBlum3last_img read more