The win marks the second in a row for GWU’s women’s tennis team, dating back to Monday’s 6-1 win over fellow Big South member Presbyterian.
Gardner-Webb (7-10, 2-5 Big South) put itself in good position on Wednesday against the 49ers (9-5, 1-0 Atlantic 10) by winning two doubles matches to forge an early 1-0 lead.
At No. 1 doubles, Lunde teamed up with Erica White (Charleston, W.Va.) for an 8-4 win against Charlotte’s Lisa Grosselius/Natsuko Takayanagi pairing. The win marks the seventh in a row at the No. 1 doubles slot for the pair of Runnin’ Bulldogs.
A dramatic win at No. 2 doubles clinched the opening point for GWU. Yasmin Doost and Rokia Sacko held serve to preserve a 9-7 win against the 49ers’ Alex Zinn/Jessica Pérez, putting the Runnin’ Bulldogs in good shape entering singles play.
Gardner-Webb came out strong during singles play, keeping pressure on Charlotte with opening set wins at No.’s 1, 4, and 5 singles.
After a default win for Charlotte at No. 6 singles, Sacko (Montreal, Canada) finished off a decisive No. 5 singles win, her third straight. The freshman outlasted Charlotte’s Iveta Guneva 6-3, 6-1.
The singles onslaught continued at No. 1, where White took control during set two to score her team-leading 14th singles win of the year. The senior defeated Alexandra Zinn by a 6-4, 6-0 margin to put Gardner-Webb up 3-1 and within one singles win of clinching the match.
Charlotte did not falter under the pressure, winning a close first set at No. 2 singles as well as a key second set at the No. 4 spot to gain momentum at a key point in the match.
A comeback effort from Lunde clinched the match for the Runnin’ Bulldogs. The junior from Oslo, Norway picked up the fourth and match-deciding point at the No. 3 singles position, outlasting a gritty effort from the 49ers’ Lisa Grosselius to win 1-6, 6-2, 6-3.
With outcome of the match decided, Charlotte’s Tyler Baker and Natsuko Takayanagi recorded wins at No. 4 and 2 singles, respectively, to provide the final scoring.
Wednesday’s home win against Charlotte adds to an impressive list of non-conference wins earned by the Runnin’ Bulldogs this season, a resumé which includes wins over No. 65 Appalachian State as well as a road win over Western Carolina.
Gardner-Webb will look to build on Wednesday’s win heading into a key stretch to close out the season. The Runnin’ Bulldogs travel to face Radford on Friday, April 5 (2:00 p.m.) and host Longwood on Sunday, April 7 (1:00 p.m.) for matches with Big South Tournament seeding implications.