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Savannah Dada-Mascoll
Savannah Dada-Mascoll earns all-conference honors in the Sun Belt Conference.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

App State Women’s Tennis Handles Multiple Delays, Wins Over Marshall

There was only one way to finish a day of tennis that lasted more than seven hours at multiple facilities with multiple delays: a dramatic, tie-breaking thriller.

Freshman Savannah Dada-Mascoll provided the final touch on a day full of high drama with her singles win that broke a 3-3 tie and propelled App State (11-6, 8-2 Sun Belt) to a 4-3 win over Marshall (13-7, 7-3 SBC) in a matchup of two of the league’s best teams this year.

In a rare occurrence, Dada-Mascoll and her court-two opponent, Emma Vanderheyden, had to finish the final set of their singles match indoors after a second rain shower hit the courts at Watauga High School where the rest of the match was played.

“I’ve never seen anything like that,” said third-year head coach Ashleigh Antal. “That was probably one of the toughest situations you could have in college tennis. Savannah’s a freshman, and she handled that beautifully. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. It was fun to watch. It’s one of those things that makes you proud as a coach.”

The wild day began when, 10 minutes before the 2 p.m. match and pre-match Senior Day ceremonies for Erika Dodridge, Helena Jansen and Virginia Poggi were set to begin, rain and lightning caused a delay of more than two hours. An incredibly tight competition between the two squads then commenced with App State capturing a crucial doubles point with wins on courts one (Ellie Murphy/Dada-Mascoll 6, Vanderheyden/Johanna Strom 4) and three (Poggi/Maggie Pate 6, Gabrielle Clairotte/Rieke Gillar 3). Murphy and Dada-Mascoll came back from a 4-0 deficit to win six straight games for their victory.

In singles, Dodridge gave the Mountaineers a 2-0 lead with a 6-0, 6-2 straight-set win over Aisling McGrane on court four. After a Marshall win on court one, Poggi made it 3-1 for the home team with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Andjela Lopicic on court five.

Marshall reeled off back-to-back wins on courts six and three to bring it to a dead heat at 3-3 before more weather rolled in.

A steady rain forced the third and deciding set between Dada-Mascoll and Vanderheyden inside to the Deer Valley Racquet Club about 10 minutes up the road from the Watauga HS outdoor courts. Dada-Mascoll displayed the composure and toughness needed to win the final set for a huge 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 win.

“We just wanted to be really calm,” Antal said of the approach before moving indoors for the final set. “I took Savannah aside and we talked for 10 or 15 minutes. We just wanted to be really level. Sav had her game plan kind of worked out by then. We knew exactly what we needed to do, and it was just a matter of managing emotions at that point.

The match ended at 8:16 p.m.

App State is back on the road for a Sunday match at Radford before closing the regular season at Old Dominion next Saturday.