Cullowhee, N.C. - Gardner-Webb picked up its second win in as many days on Thursday, riding the momentum from Wednesday's home win over Appalachian State in a thrilling 4-3 triumph on the road at Western Carolina.
GWU (4-6, 0-2 Big South) knocked off the Catamounts thanks to another great effort during singles play after being down 1-0 after doubles for the second day in a row.
At No. 2 doubles, the tandem of Yasmin Doost and Rokia Sacko garnered an 8-4 win against Western Carolina's Nicole Nielly/Karen Jiménez pairing. However, the Catamounts' Stacia Kissell/Shannon Bettiol won at the No. 1 doubles slot, and a forfeit win for host WCU at No. 3 doubles put Gardner-Webb in a 1-0 hole going into singles.
Playing without a No. 6 singles player, the Runnin' Bulldogs ceded that point to the Catamounts by forfeit, meaning GWU would need singles wins from four of its five players to defeat Western Carolina.
Gardner-Webb picked up a win by retire at No. 2 from Yasmin Doost, pulling the score even at 1-1. The second consecutive singles win for senior Erica White (Charleston, W.Va.), at the No. 1 singles position, moved GWU within two points of clinching the match. White pulled away from
Western Carolina (1-8) rebounded with a win at No. 4 singles from Nielly to even the score.
GWU was able to close out the match, in large part, thanks to two huge tiebreaks. At No. 5 singles, Sacko (Montreal, Canada) fought to win the first set in a 7-6 (7-3) tiebreak. In the second set, the freshman would cap off a straight set win against the Catamounts' Shannon Bettiol by a 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 margin.
The match came down to the No. 3 spot, where Jenny Lunde (Oslo, Norway) and Sara Ruiz Pajares were locked in a three set duel. Lunde took the first set 6-2, but saw Ruiz Pajares storm back to take set two 7-5. The deciding set came down to a tiebreak, where Lunde battled to finish off a 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (7-3) victory.
The win was Lunde's third straight at number three singles.
During Gardner-Webb's current two match win streak, the Runnin' Bulldogs have won nine of the ten singles matches in which they have participated. Erica White, Yasmin Doost, Jenny Lunde, and Rokia Sacko are all 2-0 in singles play in the squad's wins over Southern Conference members Appalachian State and Western Carolina.
The busy week for Gardner-Webb women's tennis team continues on Saturday, as the Runnin' Bulldogs host UNC Greensboro at 2:00 p.m. at the Webb Tennis Complex.