SMU women's tennis falls to Tulsa in final, 4-3
Published: Sunday, April 24, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
After ending the regular season on a high note with a victory over Wichita State, the No. 33 SMU women's tennis team traveled to Orlando, Fla. to take part in the Conference USA Championship. The Mustangs were dealt the two seed and earned a first round bye before taking down East Carolina and Marshall to advance to the final against Tulsa.
Against the seventh seeded East Carolina, the Mustangs found early success in doubles competition, as they claimed the point after two straight wins.
SMU juniors Marta Lesniak and Aleksandra Malyarchikova got things started for the Mustangs as they blanked Natalie Collins and Petra Vogel, 8-0.
Heather Steinbauer and Edyta Cieplucha sealed the doubles point and gave SMU the early 1-0 advantage after they defeated Neena Wanko and Manon Bissat, 8-2.
The Mustangs saw similar success in singles play, taking three straight matches to secure a 4-0 victory over the Pirates.
No. 9 Lesniak earned her 17th consecutive singles victory as she made quick work of Jessica Cook 6-1, 6-1. Steinbauer was next off the courts after she dominated Wanko 6-0, 6-1, while her doubles partner Cieplucha trounced Collins 7-5, 6-1 to propel SMU into the semifinal round.
SMU moved on to face third seeded No. 52 Marshall and once again set the tone by winning two straight matches to capture the doubles point.
Lesniak and Malyarchikova were first off courts as they took down the Marshall pair of Michaela Kissel and Dominika Zapranza, 8-2.
Steinbauer and Cieplucha clinched the doubles point and gave SMU the early 1-0 lead after they beat Catherine Kellner and Maria Voscekova, 8-5
In singles play, the Mustangs took three out of four matches to solidify a finals date with the number one overall seed in the tournament, No. 22 Tulsa.
No. 125 Malyarchikova was also first off the courts in singles play after she made quick work of Kellner 6-2, 6-2. Kara Kucin got the Thundering Herd right back in the thick of things with her 6-1, 6-4 victory over Ashley Turpin, making the score 2-1. Steinbauer extended the SMU lead when she took down Kristina Koprcina 6-2, 6-4 while No. 9 Lesniak gave the Mustangs the 4-1 victory after her hard fought 7-6 (10-8), 6-1 win over No. 53 Kissel.
SMU failed to win the doubles point for the first time all tournament in the final against the number one overall seed, Tulsa.
Steinbauer and Cieplucha were defeated by the Tulsa pair of Ewa Szatkowska and Anastasia Erofeeva 8-4, while Hatamova and Turpin were downed by Bonny Davidson and Sam Vickers 8-4.
Lesniak and Malyarchikova gave SMU their only win in doubles action as they drubbed Alexandra Kichoutkin and Jo-Anne Szatkowska, 8-2.
In singles play, the Golden Hurricane did just enough to capture the title as things came down to the wire in Orlando.
No. 9 Lesniak and Cieplucha gave the Mustangs two early victories as they took down No. 108 Kichoutkin and Erofeeva, respectively. Tulsa went ahead 3-2 after Farley made quick work of Steinbauer 6-2, 6-1 and Vickers dismantled Hatamova 6-4, 6-1.
The Mustangs kept their title hopes alive as they knotted the score up at three a piece when No. 125 Malyarchikova made a thrilling comeback to claim victory over Ewa Szatkowska 2-6, 6-2, 6-2. However, Tulsa's Jo-Anne Szatkowska made a come back of her own as she defeated Turpin in dramatic fashion 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 to give the Golden Hurricanes the 4-3 victory and their fourth Conference USA title in the last five years.