Kobelt falls to freshman stud Loeb in Syracuse’s 7-0 loss to North Carolina

first_img Published on March 30, 2014 at 7:31 pm Contact Ryan: [email protected] After battling back and forth for the entire second set, Maddie Kobelt won three straight points to give herself three chances to win the set against the No. 1 ranked women’s tennis player in the country, Jamie Loeb.Unfortunately for Kobelt, Loeb just executed the big points better. She would save the three straight set points Kobelt had to send it to deuce, and then save another set point at deuce before closing the game out.From there, Loeb failed to lose another game, breaking Kobelt’s serve and then holding on to win the tight second set 7-5 and the match 6-0, 7-5. For the day, No. 8 North Carolina (19-3, 8-1 Atlantic Coast)) defeated Syracuse (3-10, 3-5) 7-0 Sunday at Drumlins Tennis Club.As the match ended, the crowd gave Kobelt a standing ovation for her efforts against Loeb, although it came in defeat.“She came up with some great returns,” Kobelt said. “She did great with the pressure. Even when I had the chance to break her at 5-4, she came up with the big shots at the right time. That’s what makes her above everyone else.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textTo save those three set points, it took everything Loeb had. Down 4-5, love-40, Loeb hit a great passing shot as Kobelt approached the net. Kobelt employed the same strategy on the next point, hitting a volley as she approached the net, but Loeb was able to hit a passing shot that clipped the tape on the net before whizzing past Kobelt. To save the last of the three straight set points, Loeb hit a serve so big Kobelt could not place her return in play.After battling back to draw the game even at deuce, Loeb handed Kobelt another chance to take the set by double faulting. But again Loeb would not allow Kobelt to finish her opportunity, hitting another passing shot over Kobelt’s head as she approached that clipped the baseline and fell in play. Loeb would not allow Kobelt another opportunity, hitting a serve that drew a long return followed by an ace that led her to shout, “Let’s go!”“Jamie played great today,” SU interim head coach Shelley George said. “I give her credit. She is a great player. She does have that No. 1 ranking behind her. Maddie played a great match today and I’m really proud of her effort.”After failing to finish her set points and take the match to a third set, Kobelt struggled. At love all, Kobelt netted an easy put-away overhead and at 15-all, netted an easy put-away volley after a strong serve. From there, Loeb was just too good. She hit a forehand passing shot on the straight run after a volley by Kobelt that zoomed right past Kobelt and gave her break point. Kobelt would approach down 30-40, but Loeb’s passing shots carried too much power, forcing Kobelt to make the error and give Loeb the deciding break.“When the pressure was on she came up with some great shots,” Kobelt said. “And I missed some opportunities as well.”Before the second set started, the match appeared like it would be a routine blowout for one of the best women’s players in the nation. Loeb absolutely dominated the first set, taking it 6-0 and barely allowing Kobelt to win any points.Kobelt’s strategy to keep approaching and rely on her volley game worked much more effectively in the second set and slowed down Loeb’s momentum. She also got her first-serve percentage numbers up, hitting much more powerful and better-placed first serves throughout the second set.Loeb went from running away with the match to facing set points against her seemingly out of nowhere — but she edged the senior and lived up to her growing pedigree as one of the nation’s best players. “I executed my game more, and getting my first-serve percentage up,” Kobelt said. “I didn’t make enough first serves to be effective in the first set. And I think she was grooving in on the second serve and she had her confidence up.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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