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Maggie Pate
Maggie Pate picked up the deciding point for the Mountaineers with a win in singles play.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Tennis Upsets Marshall in Sun Belt Tournament

App State Tennis upset second-seeded Marshall 4-3 in a Sun Belt Tournament quarterfinal Friday, overcoming a 3-1 deficit with consecutive three-set singles wins from Taya Powell, Savannah Dada-Mascoll and Maggie Pate to reach the Sun Belt semifinals for the first time.

Pate clinched the match for the seventh-seeded Mountaineers (14-9) by winning 6-4, 6-7 {4-7}, 6-3 on Court 4 against Sophia Hurrion from the Thundering Herd, which went 9-2 in Sun Belt play and took an 18-7 overall record into the match. On a deuce point with a 5-3 lead (and no-ad scoring), Pate forced Hurrion to misplay a ball, ending the match as her teammates swarmed to her in excitement.

It was the second straight day in which Mountaineers charged onto the court to celebrate a 4-3 win secured in come-from-behind fashion, as Powell delivered the clinching three-set win Thursday against James Madison.

The rally from a 3-1 deficit Friday — App State won the doubles point in dramatic fashion before dropping the first three completed singles matches — began with Powell defeating Emma Vanderheyden 6-3, 2-6, 6-4. Dada-Mascoll then defeated Johanna Strom 7-5, 4-6, 6-4, winning with a powerful cross-court forehand for her 18th overall singles victory on the season as App State’s No. 1 player.

Dada-Mascoll and Ellie Murphy claimed their first win as a team in doubles action with a 7-6 {8-6} thriller against Strom and Vanderheyden, as the tiebreaker decided the doubles point. The App State duo saved three match points, including deuce points with the Thundering Herd leading 5-3 and 5-4. Marshall saved two match points to force a tiebreaker at 6-all.

Dada-Mascoll and Murphy quickly fell behind 3-0 in the tiebreaker before Murphy delivered an incredible, no-look backhand at the net to force Marshall into an error.

Murphy’s shot sparked a 5-0 run before Strom and Vanderheyden went up 6-5 to earn another match point. Their lead wouldn’t last long, as Dada-Mascoll and Murphy won the next three points to cap their critical victory. App State’s other doubles victory came from Powell and Olwyn Ryan-Bovey, who defeated Hurrion and Aisling McGrane 6-2 on Court 2.

App State will face off once more this season with No. 3 seed Troy on Saturday. The Mountaineers swept the Trojans in the High Country by a 4-0 score back on March 17. App State picked up wins from its top three singles players and earned the doubles point en route to its second win in league play.

The match will begin at 1 p.m. can be streamed live on ESPN+. Live stats and the ESPN+ link will be available via

(7) App State 4, (2) Marshall 3

Savannah Dada-Mascoll/Ellie Murphy (App) def. Johanna Strom/Emma Vanderhayen (MU) 7-6 [8-6] Taya Powell/Olwyn Ryan-Bovey (App) def. Sophia Hurrion/Aisling McGrane (MU) 6-2
Gabrielle Clairotte/Doroteja Joksovic (MU) def. Naledi Manyube/Maggie Pate (App) 6-4
Savannah Dada-Mascoll (App) def. Johanna Strom (MU) 7-5, 4-6, 6-4
Taya Powell (App) def. Emma Vanderheyden (MU) 6-3, 2-6, 6-4
Doroteja Joksovic (MU) def. Olwyn Ryan-Bovey (App) 6-4, 6-4
Maggie Pate (App) def. Sophia Hurrion (MU) 6-4, 6-7 [4-7] 6-3
Rieke Gillar (MU) def. Naledi Manyube (App) 3-6, 6-1, 6-3
Andjela Lopicic (MU) def. Ellie Murphy (App) 6-2, 6-4

{Information provided by Appalachian State Athletics}