Women’s tennis uses total team effort to defeat Belmont in ASun matchup
Doubles play proved to be the downfall for the JU women’s tennis team in its previous one-point losses. But the tandem competition allowed the Dolphins to post a 4-3 win over Belmont on Friday in a key Atlantic Sun matchup at the Wildwood Club.

The schools split the six singles competition. Yet JU’s three-match sweep in doubles play provided the Dolphins with the additional team point to take the overall win. JU won for the fourth time in the last five matches in improving to 12-4 and 3-3 against the ASun. Belmont fell to 5-10 and 1-5.

Senior Eve Castaing won her sixth in a row in continuing her hot streak from the top singles spot. Castaing’s 6-1, 6-2 win over Fabiana Mersan improved the Dax, France native to 14-2 with all matches coming in first singles.

Freshman Flavia Nagayama cruised past Catherine Holliday, 6-0, 6-1 for a victory in third singles. Nagayama has won five in a row and is 13-2 to start her collegiate career.

Junior Virginia Iwinski also didn’t encounter much trouble in the fifth-singles position, posting a 6-2, 6-2 win against Natalia Nunes to move to 10-5 in individual play this season.

Belmont won in second, fourth and six singles. But JU dominated doubles play, starting with Castaing and freshman Gabriella Bartos teaming for an 8-5 win in first doubles. The tandem is 12-2 in doubles play during the current campaign.

Nagayama and fellow freshman Natalia Melibeu outlasted the Lindsay Bennett/Laura Stack team for a 9-7 win at second doubles to secure the point and JU rounded out the sweep with an 8-6 win from Iwinski and junior Veronique Spencer. That result meant all six JU players were a part of at least one victory in the match.

That result marked difference in outcomes from the last two matches that hinged on one point. JU lost the doubles point in 4-3 defeats to ASun members Kennesaw State and Campbell before reversing its fortunate against the Bruins.

The Dolphins will next be in action on Saturday against conference-rival Lipscomb. Match time is set for 2 p.m.