OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. — The five-time defending East Coast Conference champion women's tennis team stumbled in its league opener Friday.
In a meeting that came down to a third set at sixth singles, District of Columbia freshman Florence Clerx defeated NYIT freshman Kaitlyn Byrnes to secure a 5-4 win for the Firebirds.
The defeat snapped NYIT's 31-match ECC winning streak. The Bears' last loss had come to Queens on Sept. 18, 2012.
Byrnes had dropped the first set, 6-2, but rallied to win the second set, 6-4. With all the other players congregating near the court and cheering on their teams, Clerx then won the third set, 6-3, to give UDC the win.
After dropping two of three doubles matches, NYIT had stormed back in early singles action. Alessia Rossetti defeated Dominika Hadnadova at first singles, 6-0, 6-0. At second singles, Lena Dimmer won, 6-1, 6-1 over Paula Avellan. And Ivana Andric defeated Anastasiia Danylova at third singles, 6-1, 6-0. However, Antonella Lopez at fourth singles and Rosa LaCorte at fifth singles stumbled in addition to Byrnes' defeat.
NYIT (1-1, 0-1 ECC) had opened its season Tuesday with an 8-1 win at Wilmington (Del.).