CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern women's tennis continues its road jaunt to open the 2019 regular season as the Buccaneers travel to Charlotte on Friday and USC Upstate on Saturday afternoon. The Bucs match against the 49ers is set for 2 p.m., while Saturday's Big South opener between the Bucs-Spartans is set for 1 p.m.
The Bucs (0-3) are looking to turn it around after a slow start to the 2019 season after falling in their first three matches. CSU faced off against one of the toughest schedules in the country to open the year taking on a pair of ACC foes in Clemson and Louisville, while also traveling to Furman on February 1.
Filippa Ericson picked up her first singles win of the season with a straight-set victory over Furman's Taylor Melville. The Stockholm, Sweden senior won 6-2, 6-3, to secure CSU's first point of 2019.
Ericson also teamed up with Kimberley Koerner for CSU's first doubles win of the season against Louisville. The CSU duo topped Louisville's Diana Wong and Dina Chaika, 6-3, at the Mickel Tennis Center in Greenville, S.C.
Koerner, Madalina Man, Tiffany Pyritz, Michelle Schmitz, and Liz Williams have all lined up in singles action for the Bucs this season and are expected to reprise their roles this weekend in their second stretch of two matches in two days.
The doubles tandems have been set so far for the CSU lineup as well. Pyritz and Man have taken the top spot for the Bucs early in the season in their first year under Head Coach Anca Dumitrescu. The other two tandems, Ericson-Koerner, and Schmitz-Williams have also competed in every match for the Bucs.
CSU's matches on the road this weekend end a five-match road swing to start the 2019 season. The Bucs will be back in action next on February 23 against UNC Wilmington in their home debut at the Buccaneer Tennis Complex.
The home match sparks a run with six of the next eight matches at home for CSU.
The Bucs have already faced off against Charlotte this year after taking on the 49ers at various times back in the fall season. The Bucs-49ers battled as individuals and doubles tandems back in the fall, but this constitutes the first match between the two teams in 2019.
The 49ers boast a 3-3 record overall on the season entering the weekend and will take on CSU as a part of a doubleheader hosted at the Halton-Wagner Tennis Complex. Charlotte will host North Carolina A&T at 10 a.m. on Friday, prior to their 2 p.m. match against Charleston Southern.
Charlotte is coming off wins in three of its last four matches having topped Wofford, Lenoir-Rhyne, and Marshall. The 49ers' 5-2 win over the Thundering Herd was the Conference USA opener for the two teams.
Rocio Safont has been the team singles wins leader on the season posting a 13-2 overall record in 2019. Tahlia Vander Eerden (11-5) is also in double-digit wins after a strong fall and spring season. Sasha Lee and Tai Martin have been the 49ers top players with both lining up on court no. 1 in singles play this season.
The doubles tandems for Charlotte have been consistent this season. Immie Cowper and Tai Martin have posted a 4-2 record on court no. 1, while the experienced duo of Safont and Emma Scott are 4-2 on court no. 2. Pierina Imparato and Lee are 3-0 on court no. 3.
Scouting USC Upstate
Saturday's matchup against USC Upstate pits the Buccaneers against their first Big South foe of the 2019 season. The Spartans were picked eighth in the conference's preseason poll receiving 31 points overall in the poll.
USC Upstate has posted a 1-5 record heading into the weekend as the Spartans gear up for conference play. Upstate picked up its lone win of the spring season against Belmont Abbey, 7-0, on February 2nd.
The Spartans have dropped matches Queens, Furman, and Western Carolina heading into Big South play. USC Upstate continues the conference schedule with a home match on Sunday afternoon against Hampton.
Maria Jardim and Victoria Saldh are tied for the team lead with four singles wins apiece over the first six matches of the season. Ana Boza (3-3) is also among the team's leaders in singles play this year.
Saldh and Elin Hellberg, and Jardim and Vale Zarama are among the team's doubles leaders with two wins apiece this year. Altogether, Upstate has send six different doubles tandems to the courts in 2019.