LSU (3-2) faced off against Old Dominion (5-1) at home on Thursday. The Monarchs proved to be more than the Tigers could handle, as a slow start led to the Tigers struggling to get back into it and running out of steam, losing the match 2-5.
Both teams were coming off tough losses against top-10 opponents and were looking for a chance to prove themselves. But the Monarchs were on fire to start the match while the Tigers took a while to build their confidence.
This was apparent in doubles, where the Tigers dropped both sets, as the squads Safiya Carrington and Paris Corley, and Anna Loughlan and Maggie Cubitt would both lose their matches 3-6. After surrendering the doubles point to start the match 0-1, the Tigers would never obtain a lead.
The single sets had bright spots, and at one point it seemed like the Tigers would turn things around. In particular, No. 42 Taylor Bridges had a dominating match against No. 47 Holly Hutchinson, winning her sets 6-2 and 6-0 and tying the score at 1-1.
“When I’m playing, I’m not thinking about the score or winning,” said Bridges after her performance. “It’s point-by-point. I’m just trying to do everything I can within that point, and the outcome is the outcome.”
Old Dominion would immediately take back the lead, but Eden Richardson would even the score again with a 7-5 and 6-3 win versus Brooke Pilkington. Co-Head Coach Julia Sell acknowledged both these singles performances as “bright spots” in their loss.
“Holly (Hutchinson) is a very high-level player, but Taylor (Bridges) is playing solid as a rock. I thought Eden (Richardson) did a really good job tonight as well,” said Sell. “There are these great bright spots, and we’ve just got to figure out how to extend those moments a little longer.”
Despite evening the score at 2-2, the Tigers would spin out before the finish line. No. 61 Safiya Carrington and No. 105 Paris Corley each dropped their first sets. Even with resilient wins in their second sets that gave the Tigers hope, they would ultimately run out of gas. Carrington would lose by scores of 3-6, 6-4, and 0-6 and Corley would lose 2-6, 6-4, and 3-6, which clinched the match for the Monarchs.
Coach Sell was disappointed in the team’s performance, describing it as “sloppy”, but noted the Tigers’ resilience and capability.
“We clawed our way back, but we were truly just beating ourselves and it’s up to us to fix that,” said Sell. “The positive is that we’re capable of so much more, but we’ve got to make some changes and make them fast.”