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TU women advance to semifinals of conference tournament

TU women's tennis will face the winner of Cincinnati and Memphis in the semifinal round of the American Athletic Conference Tournament Championship.

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.

Singles

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

Doubles

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

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