On March 1, Stirling’s first ladies tennis team overcame a strong Durham side to be crowned champions of the Championship on BUCS Big Wednesday.
The final was just one out of many hosted by the University of Nottingham, on a day which showcased the high level of university sport.
The team consisted of Maia Lumsden, Ingrid Vojcinakova, Natasha Fourouclas and Patricia Skowronski.
A new recruit this semester, Vojcinakova previously enjoyed playing tennis at Old Dominion University in Virginia, USA. Despite ‘bleeding green’ for a short period of time, she has already made her mark on the BUCS circuit, winning her first two matches in a convincing fashion.
The day opened with the doubles being played; Lumsden partnered up with Skowronski, whilst Pedrazzi teamed up with Vojcinakova. Whilst the former lost convincingly 3-6, 0-6, the second doubles match was a much closer affair. A valiant performance saw Pedrazzi and Vojcinakova fall in two sets, 6-7, 4-6.
With a two love deficit, the team needed to pull out some strong singles performances in order to make a comeback.
At number one, the experience and skill of world ranked player Maia Lumsden proved too much for her opponent. With a convincing win of 6-2, 6-1, Stirling were finally on the board. Following her example, Vojcinakova and Fourouclas also emerged with a win apiece.
With the score at 6-4, it was down to Skowronski to bring home the trophy for Stirling. Winning the first set 6-2, it seemed that Skowronski had her opponent, Jessica Ren, all figured out.
However, the tides soon turned in favour of the Durham player, who claimed a tense second set 7-6.
A tight line call at the start of the third set proved to be crucial, with Skowronski benefitting from her opponent’s lapse in concentration. With a flood of errors coming from Ren’s racket, it seemed that Skowronski was once again strapped firmly in the driving seat. After just over two hours of being on court, she claimed the match 6-2, 6-7,6-1.
Regardless of the outcome of the doubles, the team showed nerves of steel to claim all four singles rubbers, ensuring that Stirling Ladies first team were winners of the Championship.
Earlier on in the day, the Stirling men’s team did not quite have the same success as the ladies. Despite an excellent performance from Jonny O’Mara the team eventually fell to Durham 4-8.