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Gabriela Knutson continues hot start with performance against Boston College

first_img Related Stories Dina Hegab propels SU to 7-0 win against Boston College using improved backhand Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 20, 2016 at 5:21 pm Contact Charlie: [email protected] | @charliedisturcocenter_img Gabriela Knutson set her feet and waited for teammate Valeria Salazar to serve. Knutson leaned on her toes to avoid being caught flat-footed. The serve went to the other side of the court, and a quick return by Knutson’s opponent struck her in the hand. She winced in pain and went over to talk to Salazar, trying to stay focused.“I burned my hand two days so I had burn marks,” Knutson said. “I started bleeding after I got hit. (Getting hit) happens all the time.”But Knutson said the pain went away, going on to win her doubles set with Salazar 6-3. The momentum stuck with her, as she rolled past her opponent in singles 6-0, 6-3. It was not before long that No. 62 Syracuse (7-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) would sweep the rest of its singles matches, shutting out No. 48 Boston College (4-4, 0-2) 7-0.SU is off to its best start of the year since 2009, when the team started 7-0 as well. Pacing Syracuse during its undefeated start are Knutson and Dina Hegab, who have yet to lose a match in singles play. Saturday’s match was just like the past six games for Knutson, as she jumped out to a commanding lead and didn’t look back.Up 3-0, Knutson bent her legs and bounced off the balls of her feet, waiting for the serve from BC’s Emily Safron. With each return, she shuffled between her backhand and forehand, making her opponent run across the baseline.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“(My opponent) wasn’t handling my hard shots as well as she should have,” Knutson said. “And my serve was working. I had a lot of aces, which really helped me get the point easier.”Knutson stepped forward, leaned back and spiked the ball to win the volley. Safron turned her back to catch her breath. Knutson served the next point. Another ace and another deep breath for Safron. Two volleys later, Knutson took a 5-0 lead, walked to the bench and sat down. She reached for her purple Gatorade and towel with a large smile on her face.Knutson went on to win the first set 6-0 and kept cruising until the middle of the second. She had back-to-back returns that bounced off the net and back onto her side.She dropped her head, turned around, and let out a sigh. Knutson began to talk to herself to try and calm herself down.“I got flustered because I was being so dominant. I let myself get flustered. Usually when it’s a tight match, you can’t show your weakness to your opponent,” Knutson said. “I let myself do that a little bit so I could then get it out of my system and play better.”A few backhands later, Knutson defeated Safron 6-0, 6-3. A huge smile was on her face as she went to shake her opponent’s hand. Her undefeated record in singles play was still alive.“Her backhand is a big weapon of her game,” head coach Younes Limam said. “And I thought she did a great job serving. She is very smart at placing her serve. It sometimes doesn’t come with a lot of pace, but she places it so well that she keeps her opponent guessing quite a bit.” Commentslast_img read more