MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Tulsa claimed its third straight Conference USA Women’s Tennis Championship Sunday with a 4-2 win over Rice at the Dunavant-Wellford Tennis Center in Memphis, Tenn. The Golden Hurricane have won five of the past six C-USA crowns and earned an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Tulsa/Rice Box Score
The five championships are the most by any team in league history and Tulsa became the second program in league history to claim three straight titles (Tulane 2003-05).
The No. 26 Golden Hurricane claimed wins at Nos. 2 and 3 doubles to earn the first team point of the match, then earned wins in three of the five completed singles matches to secure the championship.
Rice’s Natalie Beazant, ranked No. 40 by the ITA, leveled the match with an impressive 6-1, 6-1, win at No. 1 singles over No. 71 Anastasia Erofeeva, who a day earlier had defeated the nation’s No. 33 player. Tulsa regained the lead shortly thereafter when Ewa Szatkowska posed her own 6-1, 6-1 win at No. 3 singles over Rice’s Katie Gater.
The No. 40 Owls would again even the team score when Kimberly Anicete toppled Michelle Farley at No. 5 singles, 7-5, 6-1, but the tie would be short-lived as Tulsa’s Isaura Enrique completed a 7-5, 6-2, win over Ana Guzman at No. 4 singles to put the Golden Hurricane on the brink of the title.
No. 70 Samantha Vickers would close out the match for Tulsa with a hard-fought 7-5, 6-4, win at No. 12 singles over Dominique Harmath.
Match results are available at C-USA Women's Tennis Championship Central.
2012 C-USA WOMEN'S TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
DUNAVANT-WELLFORD TENNIS CENTER / MEMPHIS, TENN.
FIRST ROUND - Thursday, April 19
Match 1: (8) East Carolina 4, (9) UAB 3 Box Score
Match 2: (5) Marshall 5, (12) UTEP 0 Box Score
Match 3: (7) UCF 4, (10) SMU 2 Box Score
Match 4: (6) Houston 4, (11) Southern Miss 0 Box Score
QUARTERFINALS - Friday, April 20
Match 5: (1) Tulsa 4, (8) East Carolina 0 Box Score
Match 6: (4) Memphis 4, (5) Marshall 0 Box Score
Match 7: (2) Rice 4, (7) UCF 0 Box Score
Match 8: (3) Tulane 4, (6) Houston 0 Box Score
SEMIFINALS - Saturday, April 21
Match 9: (1) Tulsa 4, (4) Memphis 3 Box Score
Match 10: (2) Rice 4, (3) Tulane 2 Box Score
CHAMPIONSHIP - Sunday, April 22
Match 11: (1) Tulsa 4, (2) Rice 2 Box Score
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Day Three Recaps
(1) Tulsa 4, (4) Memphis 3 Box Score
Memphis came out hot in doubles play, winning Nos. 2 and 3 doubles in dominating fashion. Mariya Slupska and Stefanie Mikesz rolled to an 8-0 win at No. 2, while the No. 3 pair for Memphis, Courtney Collins and Kelly Gray, were 8-1 winners as the Tigers claimed the doubles point.
Tulsa would have the answer in singles, winning four of six matches, including the top two positions, to advance to the final. Samantha Vickers got the Golden Hurricane on the board at No. 2 singles with a 6-2, 6-2, win. At No. 1 singles, No. 71 Anastasia Erofeeva was a 6-2, 7-6, upset winner over No. 33 Courtney Collins. After decisions at Nos. 3, 4 and 5 singles left the team score knotted at 3, Tulsa's Bonny Davidson, rolled to a 6-1, third set win to secure the win.
(2) Rice 4, (3) Tulane 2 Box Score
Tulane captured the doubles point, winning two of three matches, and jumped to a 2-0 team lead after a win from Lindsay Dvorak, 6-1, 6-0, at No. 6 singles. But it was Rice who dictated the tempo in singles player, taking the next four matches to advance to its second C-USA Tournament final.
The nation's No. 40 player, Natalie Beazant of Rice, was a 6-4, 6-2, winner at No. 1 singles. The team scored was leveled by Rice's Kimberly Anicete at No. 5 singles. Dominique Harmath took a 6-4, 6-1, decision from Tulane's Emma Levy and the Owls closed the match with a win from Katie Grater, 6-4, 6-3.
Day Two Recaps
(1) Tulsa 4, (8) East Carolina 0 Box Score
Tulsa, the tournament's top seed, swept the doubles matches and grabbed three straight-set victories to advance to Saturday's semifinal round. Samantha Vickers and Bonny Davidson got the Golden Hurricane off to a fast start with an 8-3 decision over Neena Wanko and Dana Gray. Nos. 1 and 3 followed shortly to complete the sweep.
Tulsa's depth was the difference in singles play, getting a 6-0, 6-0, win at No. 5 singles from Michelle Farley and a 6-0, 6-3, victory from Bonny Davidson at No. 6 singles to stake the Golden Hurricane to a 3-0 team lead. The nation's No. 71 player, Anastasia Erofeeva finished off the win for Tulsa at No. 1 singles, winning 6-1, 6-1, over Natalie Collins.
(4) Memphis 4, (5) Marshall 0 Box Score
The host Tigers earned a fast point in the doubles competition, getting an 8-0 win at No. 3 from Courtney Collins and Kelly Gray and an 8-3 win from Mariya Slupska and Stephanie Mikesz at No. 2 doubles. Memphis got straight-set singles wins from Slupska at No. 3 and Mikesz at No. 4, before Gray finished the match at No. 6.
Slupska was the first Tiger off of the court with her 6-3, 6-1, win over Ellie Bell. Her doubles partner, Mikesz, followed with a 6-2,6-0, triumph against Kara Kucin. Gray was a 6-4, 6-3, winner over Karyln Timko.
(2) Rice 4, (7) UCF 0 Box Score
Rice was a 4-0 quarterfinal winner against UCF Friday afternoon. After a pushing through the doubles matches with an 8-3 and 8-1 wins at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, the top of the Owls' lineup paved the way into the semifinals.
After Katie Gater and Ana Guzman's 8-1 win at No. 2 doubles gave Rice an quick lead, Natalie Beazant and Dominique Harmath of Rice, the nation's No. 33 doubles team, topped the No. 85 pair of Genevieve Lorbergs and Courtney Griffith at the No. 1 position, 8-3.
Beazant was a 6-4, 6-2, winner at No. 1 singles, while Harmath was a 6-0, 6-0, winner at No. 2. No. 5 singles player Kimberly Anicete finished off the duel for Rice, winning 6-4, 6-3. The semifinal appearance is the seventh straight for Rice.
(3) Tulane 4, (6) Houston 0 Box Score
A tight doubles competition ignited the Tulane players as the Green Wave topped Houston, 4-0, and advanced to its first C-USA Women's Tennis Championship semifinal since 2005 and the first since the program resumed following Hurricane Katrina.
Tulane would strike first in doubles, with a convincing 8-3 win from Caroline Thornton and Caroline Magnusson at the No. 2 spot. Houston's No. 3 pair of Maja Kazimieruk and Charlotte Phillips evened things with an 8-6 win against Lindsay Dvorak and Hila Elster. With all eyes on No. 1 doubles and the match tied at six, Tulane's Mariam Kurdadze and Emma Levy broke serve and held for the 8-6 and the team point.
Tulane carried the momentum from doubles into singles action and finished the match with three straight-set wins. Wins at No. 6 from Dvorak, No. 1 by Kurdadze and No. 2 by Levy propelled the Green Wave into tomorrow's semifinal.
Day One Recaps:
(8) East Carolina 4, (9) UAB 3 Box Score
East Carolina jumped to the early lead, taking two of three doubles matches to secure the team point. No. 1 doubles team Yilian Zhang and Danielle Terpko were off the court first, topping UAB's Paula Alvarez and Isabel Fernandez, 8-3. UAB's No. 2 team of Rachel Danieli and Menanteau Moolman dropped Neena Wanko and Dana Gray, 8-5, before ECU's No. 3 team of Natalie Collins and Renata Bakieva nabbed the team point with an 8-3 win over Caroline Faught and Sarah Witkowski.
In singles play, the Pirates jumped to a quick, 3-0, lead with straight-set wins from Renata Bakieva at No. 2 and Natalie Collins at the No. 1 position. East Carolina would respond, claiming straight-set wins at Nos. 4 and 6, from Caroline Faught and Sarah Witkowski, respectively, and a marathon three-set win from Rachel Daniell at No. 3.
With the team scored level at three, the attention turned to No. 5 singles where ECU's Yilian Zhang and UAB's Menanteau Moolman had split the first two sets. Zhang would seize control early and secure the final point for the Pirates, taking six straight games after Moolman held serve to open the set.
(5) Marshall 5, (12) UTEP 0 Box Score
Marshall took the doubles point after getting an 8-0 win at No. 2 from Kara Kucin and Ellie Bell and a come-from-behind win at No. 1 from Dominika Zaprazna and Maria Voscekova. Kucin and Bell wasted no time in dispatching UTEP's Dariya Abdrakhmanova and Anastasiya Sylenko to notch the tournament's first win. After UTEP's Gabi Vazquez and Marie LeBlond took down Karlyn Timko and Kai Broomfield to even the match, the Thundering Herd needed a rally to claim the point. With UTEP leading, 5-3, Zaprazna and Voscekova reeled off five straight games for the win.
The Thundering Herd would sweep through to the quarterfinals with four straight-set singles wins. Kara Kucin made quick work of Anastasyia Sylenko, 6-1, 6-0, at No. 4 singles, while Kristina Koprcina was a 7-5, 6-4 winner at No. 5 to give Marshall a 3-0 lead.
Marshall's Dominika Zaprazna was a 6-4, 6-4, winner at No. 1 singles over Martina Trierweiler and Karlyn Timko finished simultaneously at No. 6 singles, 6-2, 6-2, over UTEP's Marie LeBlond.
(7) UCF 4, (10) SMU 2 Box Score
UCF posted a pair of 8-1 wins at Nos. 2 and 3 doubles to claim the doubles point for a 1-0 team lead over SMU. Alexis Rodriguez and Jenna Doerfler were the first off of the court at No. 2 doubles, topping the SMU pair of Elena Fayner and Kris Roberts. UCF's Taylor Dubins and Andrea Yacaman were off the court just two minutes later after dropping Ashley Turpin and Perri Anderson.
The match would tighten during singles play, but not until UCF pushed the lead to two with a win from Josephine Haraldson at No. 5 singles. Haraldson was a 6-2, 6-1, winner of Kris Roberts. SMU pulled a match back, taking the No. 2 singles slot with a 6-3, 6-1, win by Elena Fayner. UCF earned its third point at No. 4 singles, 6-2, 6-3, behind Taylor Dubins, before SMU's Edyta Cieplucha took the No. 1 position, 6-3, 6-3, over Genevieve Lorbergs.
Courtney Griffith would end the match from the No. 6 slot, topping SMU's Perri Anderson, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1.
(6) Houston 4, (11) Southern Miss 0 Box Score
Houston's Giorgia Pozzan and Celia Fraser were 8-1 winners at No. 1 doubles, while Southern Miss took the No. 2 slot, 8-3, behind Elja van Berlo and Alex Bradley. The Cougars would claim the doubles point with an 8-3 win from Maja Kazimieruk and Charlotte Phillips.
Pozzan continued her top-notch play in singles, posting a 6-1, 6-3, win over Southern Miss' Alexus Coats to put the Cougars up 2-0 in the team score. She quickly was followed by straight-set wins by Charlotte Phillips at No. 5 singles and Liselot Koenen at No. 4 to complete the sweep.