Women’s tennis sends Kharkevitch out in style

Assistant Sports Editor: Noah Thomas

All good things eventually come to an end. But for Christine Kharkevitch, things seemed better when they ended on a high note.

UNC Wilmington’s women’s tennis team held its annual senior day celebration last Thursday. The Seahawks, hosting Division II University of Mount Olive, managed a clean 7-0 victory over the Trojans.

After winning all three of the doubles games to take an early 1-0 lead, UNCW made quick work of UMO in the singles portion of the match, sweeping the lineup.

The day was not without drama. After the Seahawks had clinched the victory, Kharkevitch was still on the court, locked in a tight battle with opponent Alejandra Hernandez. They split the first two sets 6-2, 3-6.

Not to be outdone on her senior day, Kharkevitch came out firing in the third set. She eventually won 1-0 (10-8), securing the shutout and a win in her final home appearance at UNCW.

“I think my nerves got the best of me,” said Kharkevitch after the win. “I really care for this team, so leaving them isn’t the best. I think being the last one on the court and having my team there helped me a lot, honestly.”

The senior out of Houston improved her career singles record to 46-25 and doubles record to 42-24. She ranks 13th and 17th all-time as a Seahawk in those categories, respectively, placing her amongst the top tennis players to ever wear teal.

Madara Straume had a strong showing in the No. 1 game against Mount Olive’s Stella Di Michele, winning 6-0, 6-0.

“I was serving really well, and that helped me a lot,” said Straume. “I pressured my opponent. I just played my game style and definitely started points off well and played aggressive, but not to where there were many unforced errors.”

Head coach Hans Olsen wrapped up his first year at the helm of the program on Thursday, as well, and he seemed most happy for Kharkevitch and her accomplishments.

“Today was all about [her] on senior day,” said Olsen. “She’s been a player that competes with her heart and today was a good example of it. Everybody’s energy was around her and the team did a great job.”

Now 9-8 on the season, the Seahawks head into this weekend’s CAA Tournament with the hopes of capturing just their second conference title in team history.

“I’m pumped,” said Kharkevitch. “I’m so ready. I believe that we can do it, and I think that we can peak at conference and we’re all ready.”