Tennis

Miranda Ramirez’s 12-match win streak snapped as SU falls, 5-2, to No. 27 North Carolina State

Codie Yan | Staff Photographer

Ramirez, a freshman, had rolled to a 12-game win streak entering Friday.

It had been 75 days since Miranda Ramirez hadn’t scored the final point in her singles match. The freshman entered Friday rolling on a 12-match win streak — two shy of tying the Syracuse single-season record —  dating back to Jan. 22. But against No. 27 North Carolina State, Ramirez’s near-historic roll terminated.

Since the last time Ramirez lost, she even became ranked, checking in at No. 79 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings.

“In tennis, sometimes one point here and there makes the difference,” SU head coach Younes Limam said, “and I think that’s what happened today.”

The loss in three sets in No. 1 singles for Ramirez, 3-6, 6-4, 5-7, was a major stumble for Syracuse (6-10, 3-6 Atlantic Coast) as it fell, 5-2, to No. 27 N.C. State (17-7, 6-5) at Drumlins Country Club on Friday. After getting dismantled by the No. 15 doubles pairing of Martina Frantova and Anna Rogers, Ramirez faced No. 59 Frantova again. An emotional and mistake-filled match ensued, with Frantova edging a victory.

A stagnant 6-2 loss in No. 1 doubles quickly turned into a dreary No. 1 singles first set for Ramirez. Straying into the unfamiliar territory of trailing, she dropped her first set, 6-3. The normally even-keeled Ramirez knew she needed to change something to get going, and that’s when she let her emotions bleed.

Early in the second set it was frustration. When Frantova won a game to tie the second set, 1-1, Ramirez thwacked her racket onto the court as she looked down in disgust. A missed shot or poorly placed volley had Ramirez running her free hand over her brow, muttering to herself.

“I can’t believe I missed that,” Ramirez said on the court.

Even Frantova let emotions fly. Down 4-3 in the second set, she dropped a point that tied the game, 30-all. Frantova had originally called it out, but the umpire overruled her. Frantova retorted with a few choice words and was assessed a penalty, giving Ramirez a 40-30 lead.

But the fracas only fueled Frantova, who went on and won the game anyways, tying the set, 4-4.

“I think it’s just because it was a much tougher match,” Ramirez said. “… I was trying to get myself into it.”

backhand

Codie Yan | Staff Photographer

Ramirez looked off from the opening serve. A few nagging injuries — including some skin ripped off by athletic tape on her right foot — hindered her from feeling fully comfortable. As a result, shots went long, first serves carried wide and drop shots were smothered by the net. The spike in unforced errors took a visible toll on Ramirez, as she began to look more dejected with every miscue.

Even with the uncharacteristic errors and emotions, Ramirez strung important games together in the third set, taking a 5-2 lead. But Frantova chipped away at Ramirez’s lead, eventually taking the lead, 6-5.

Facing match point, Ramirez fired a return into the net, and the streak was over.

“We all lose and win,” Ramirez’s doubles partner, sophomore Gabriela Knutson, said. “We all accept our losses.”

In the aftermath of Ramirez’s most crucial miscue, the freshman slammed a ball into the green tarp behind the court as Frantova screamed on the other side of the net. All of the emotion had finally boiled over.

“Ultimately,” Ramirez said, “I’m just going to go back to the practice court and forget about this the best I can.”

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