Dina Hegab’s singles win sealed a 5-2 SU victory over Connecticut

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Dina Hegab walked across four courts and took a seat on the bench by herself.In the three short minutes between her doubles and singles match, Hegab sat quietly, alone with just her red tennis bag at her side. After moments of silence and solitude, she then walked over to the next court, where Sofya Golubovskaya shared a few words with her.Hegab and her partner Libi Mesh had just blown a 5-0 lead that cost Syracuse the doubles point. The Orange lost in doubles for the first time this season and found itself down to Connecticut. She said she channeled her anger into singles.“I like to have a few minutes to just relax and think myself,” Hegab said. “It was really nice to get out of the pressure and have a laugh with your teammate before singles.”Hegab and Mesh responded emphatically, both rallying in the singles to comfortably defeat the Huskies without either dropping a set. Syracuse (4-1, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) defeated Connecticut (3-2, 0-0 American) 5-2 on Friday afternoon in SU’s return home to Drumlins Country Club. SU entered the match with an 11-0 record in doubles, but this time, the Orange relied on Mesh and Hegab’s rebound to deliver the clinching points.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I was very pleased with how they all reacted,” head coach Younes Limam said. “It’s always good to experience the different scenarios.”Playing together for the first time this season, Hegab and Mesh played flawless tennis for the opening five games of the match. Then, they said, they celebrated the finish line too early.Eager to finish the match, the two made error after error and saw the lead quickly evaporate as 5-0 quickly became 5-4. With a match point, up 5-4, the SU pair lost an extended rally to level the contest. Moments later, just when the Orange pair seemed to have found their form again, breaking to grab a 6-5 lead, they faltered again. Serving for the match and the doubles point, Mesh and Hegab were broken at love.Three errors by Mesh on the final three points led the duo to lose the match. As the two teams fought over control at the net, the Orange struggled to put away points with overheads. Once Mesh missed back to back overheads, the scoreboard flipped for Connecticut, capping off a comeback that included seven of the final eight games of the match.“We started rushing, we thought it was over before it was over,” Mesh said.  “We had to be more consistent and wait for the right ball in longer rallies.”That’s when Hegab went to go sit by herself. And she fired herself up to come out and earn the point she had just lost.Once she was by herself on the court, she thrived. From the opening serve, Hegab controlled the points to win 6-2, 6-3 and boost her record to 5-0 in singles play this year. Friday was the first time she played fourth singles and she outgunned her opponent by bludgeoning forehands up the line and serves up the middle.Even when she hit a rough patch early in the second set and found herself level at 2-2, Hegab found her form again, taking returns early and getting the break at 2-all to open up a lead. She cruised from that point forward, using her quick feet to run around to hit as many forehands as possible.“My fitness has improved a lot and I’m hitting the ball really well,” Hegab said. “My first shots have helped me, especially serves and returns.”While Hegab was unable to find those elusive final four points in the doubles, she held serve at love in the final game of the match, earning the fourth point that clinched a 10th consecutive win for the Orange over the Huskies.   Comments Published on February 9, 2018 at 10:38 pm Contact Anthony: [email protected]last_img