UNIVERSITY OF YORK 3
UNIVERSITY OF HULL 3
Image: Philippa Grafton
York’s women earned two Varsity points in dramatic style as Natasha Johnson emerged victorious in the final match to square the contest at three games each. While York will feel disappointed to have let their lead slip, having been two matches to one up at the halfway stage, they will be relieved to have shared the points after Hull came back to take a 3-2 lead.
Despite seeing Faye Button comfortably overcame a resilient Amy Graham without dropping a game York had the upper hand early on. A break in the doubles saw them take the first set while Amie Evans did the same against Monika Gorska winning six games to two. While Hull battled in the second set the pairing of Vikki Whittaker and Charlotte Baldwin maintained York’s advantage to win 6-4, 6-4 and square things up at one match each. Amie Evans’ encounter with Monika Gorska provided a tense finale as the Hull player battled back to take the second set before Evans prevailed 7-5 in the tiebreak to put the hosts 2-1 ahead.
However York were unable to build on their advantage as Hull took control in the second round of matches. Vikki Whittaker was beaten by Rachel Saunders as the visitors completed their second whitewash of the day. Having lost the first set 6-0, the duo of Annelise Campbell and Amy Graham fought back in the second but succumbed to defeat as the pairing of Monika Gorska and Faye Button took the set 6-3. With Hull 3-2 ahead and just one match to be completed, the best York could hope for was a draw as they looked to Natasha Johnson to rescue two points.
Despite losing the first set 6-0, Johnson fought back to take the second 6-4 and force a tiebreak with the contest in the balance. Neither player dared make a mistake as tension peaked amidst the pouring rain. With York 8-7 up, a mistake from Isabel Caterer saw the Hull player strike the ball into the net handing victory to Natasha Johnson as the points were shared. York’s joy was evident as a member of the team declared them to be “ecstatic” as the contest was tied, earning two important points for the hosts.