TU women advance to semifinals of conference tournament
ORLANDO, Fla. —
The University of Tulsa Women’s Tennis team advanced to the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference Women’s Tennis Championships on Thursday afternoon with a 4-1 win over No. 8-seed UCF at the USTA National Campus. The Hurricane (19-6 Overall) will return to the court at the championships tomorrow to take on the winner between No. 4-seed Cincinnati and No. 5-seed Memphis at 2 p.m.
The top-seeded Hurricane opened play by taking the first two doubles matches to go ahead 1-0 behind a 6-1 win from freshman duo Martina Okalova/Vera Ploner to go along with a shutout 6-0 victory by Rongrong Leenabanchong/Martina Matoula at the No. 3 and No. 2 spots respectively.
The momentum continued into singles play for the Hurricane as Marcelina Cichon put TU up 2-0 after a dominating 6-0, 6-0 win over Nicole Jimenez on court six for her 23rd singles win of the season.
Matoula followed with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Elizabeth Bagerbaseh at the No. 5 position to move to 25-5 on the season while putting the Hurricane ahead 3-0 with one more point needed to secure a semi-final birth.
UCF fought back to put some pressure on Tulsa after Natalia Serrano rallied from down 2-0 in the opening set against Rongrong Leenabanchong in an eventual 6-2, 6-1 win that cut Tulsa’s lead down to two.
Martina Okalova opened up her match against Courtney Cesarini by going ahead 4-0 on her way to taking the first set 6-3 before Cesarini responded with a 6-0 second set win to take it to a deciding third set with two other matches still in play.
With UCF threatening on court four and one, Mahitha Dadireddy would go on to clinch the match-winning point against Emilia Granstrom on court three. Dadireddy took a commanding first set shutout win before a tightly contested second set saw the Tulsa senior ahead by just one set at 3-2 before closing it out 6-2 for the win.
Ksenia Laskutova took control in her first set against Monica Matias at the No. 1 position by winning the final three sets after trailing 4-3 to take the opening frame 6-4. The match was eventually called in the second set with Laskutova behind 4-3.
1. Ksenia Laskutova (TU) vs. Monica Matias (UCF) 6-4, 3-4, unfinished
2. Natalia Serrano (UCF) def. Rongrong Leenabanchong (TU) 6-2, 6-1
3. Mahitha Dadireddy (TU) def. Emilia Granstrom (UCF) 6-0, 6-2
4. Martina Okalova (TU) vs. Courtney Cesarini (UCF) 6-3, 0-6, 1-0, unfinished
5. Martha Matoula (TU) def. Elizabeth Bagerbaseh (UCF) 6-1, 6-0
6. Marcelina Cichon (TU) def. Nicole Jimenez (UCF) 6-0, 6-0
1. Ksenia Laskutova/Mahitha Dadireddy (TU) vs. Cortney Cesarini/Monic Matias (UCF) 3-3, unfinished
2. Rongrong Leenabanchong/Martha Matoula (TU) def. Emilia Granstorm/Natalia Serrano (UCF) 6-0
3. Martina Okalova/Vera Ploner (TU) def. Nicole Jimenez/Elizabeth Bagerbaseh (UCF) 6-1