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Miranda Ramirez hopes latest win sparks a turnaround heading into postseason

first_img Published on April 17, 2018 at 9:56 pm Contact Anthony: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+ Everyone gathered around Miranda Ramirez’s court during a match against Wake Forest on March 18. Ramirez had lost before in the same situation: a final set tiebreaker against Virginia on Feb. 3. When Ramirez’s forehand had clipped the tape and floated wide to end the match, Wake Forest’s team swarmed Eliza Omirou to celebrate WFU’s victory.That loss sent Ramirez into a singles tailspin. From March 16, an SU win against Clemson, until April 13 against Duke, Ramirez didn’t record a singles win. But on Friday against the Blue Devils, head coach Younes Limam said Ramirez was “back.”Despite a No. 11 ranking in doubles this season with partner Gabriela Knutson, Ramirez has struggled individually in-conference. But on Friday in singles, Ramirez battled former doubles partner and childhood friend Duke’s Meible Chi, playing through a nagging left thigh injury to close out the singles win, 6-4, 6-4.Ramirez hopes that the win — one of her best performances of the season — sparks a return to form in singles in time for the postseason. While Syracuse (15-6, 7-6 Atlantic Coast) is having its best season yet under Limam, Ramirez’s individual results (10-9) have lagged behind last season’s impressive resume.“It’s a matter of time before she gets over the hump,” Limam said before the Duke match. “Keep believing and keep doing the things that make a difference.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe constant losses are unprecedented in Ramirez’s SU career. Last season, the then-freshman dominated the ACC. She won second team all-conference honors, and earned rookie of the year for SU women’s athletics. Playing first singles for the majority of the season, Ramirez finished 18-3 individually.A month after the Virginia loss, the SU sophomore lost a first set tiebreaker 14-12 against Virginia Tech. She went on to lose that match, 7-6, 6-1. Then came the Wake Forest match two weeks later. Since winning the first set against Omirou, Ramirez was not the same player.The losing streak continued against No. 48 Louisville, Pittsburgh, No. 3 Georgia Tech, No. 18 Miami, and No. 19 Florida State. Ramirez, a typically reserved player on the court, showed plenty of emotion. Limam boiled down her close match struggles to indecision and quality of opponents.“Playing those big points with commitment is important,” Limam said. “Making a decision, whatever decision she’s making and to commit to it fully.”Ramirez played Louisville’s Mariana Humberg, who frequently used drop serves and slices from all over the court while Ramirez is a power baseliner. She quickly grew frustrated, losing 6-2, 7-6. On multiple occasions, Ramirez smashed balls into the back curtain of Drumlins to let out steam.In the three matches leading up to Duke, Ramirez faced nationally ranked opponents. She lost six consecutive sets, none closer than 6-3. Following her loss in Syracuse’s win over GT, Ramirez said she was getting back to 100 percent. But for her last three matches, Ramirez has worn heavy tape, wrapped around her upper left thigh.“It’s really frustrating, I just have to focus on my game,” Ramirez said after the Georgia Tech loss.But on Friday, Ramirez looked more in control. She moved well, took control of the points and dictated with her forehand. Besides stretching out and treating her thigh in between points, her injury was unnoticeable.After she confidently served out the match against Chi, Ramirez turned and looked directly at teammate Libi Mesh. Their eyes locked for an extended moment — a look of relief in the midst of a tough season. Commentslast_img read more

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