April 25, 2010
Championship Box Score
Tulsa, Okla. - For the fourth-straight year, Tulsa, the 35th-ranked team in the nation, stepped on the court on championship Sunday vying for the right to be crowned Conference USA Women's Tennis Champions and did not disappoint . The Golden Hurricane, the second-overall seed, defeated No. 3 seed Marshall, 4-1, at the Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla., and have now won three out of the last four conference titles.
Tulsa (21-5) drew first blood in doubles play, winning 8-2 against 59th-ranked Marshall (19-7) in the No. 2 position. The TU pair of Ewa Szatkowska and Anastasia Erofeeva climbed to 18-3 on the season when featured in the number two slot after defeating Isabell Raich and Kara Kucin. The Thundering Herd rumbled back with an 8-5 win in No. 3 doubles. Marshall's tandem of Thaddea Lock and Deanna Bailey eclipsed the Golden Hurricane's Rebecca Row and Michelle Farley.
The decisive third point would be decided on court one by two nationally-ranked double-duos. Marshall's Michalea Kissell and Dominika Zaprazna, ranked No. 54 in the nation, would bout with 46th-ranked Alexandra Kichoutkin and JoAnne Karaitiana of Tulas in the No. 1 doubles position. The back-and-forth grind for the coveted doubles point was eventually decided by the Herd twosome of Kissell and Zaprazna.
Entering the singles portion of the match down 1-0, the Golden Hurricane responded when TU's Erofeeva breezed through the Herd's Zaprazna at No. 2 singles, 6-1, 6-1. Tulsa claimed its second point after Row outlasted Bailey, 6-2, 6-2, in No. 5 singles. The storm kept coming for the Golden Hurricane, when Szatkowska won 6-3, 6-3 on court four over Kellner of Marshall.
With Tulsa up 3-1, all eyes turned to the No. 1 singles matched where two nationally ranked foes exchanged blows on court one. Kichoutkin owns the 78th-overall ranking in the country for TU, while Kissell garners the No. 40 slot. Despite losing to Kissell just a few weeks prior, Kichoutkin was able to outlast the Marshall's No. 1 player and win 6-3, 6-2. Tulsa has now won the conference title in 2007, 2008 and 2010.
Tulsa received the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tennis Championship with the victory, while No. 27 SMU, No. 47 Rice and No. 57 Marshall will have to wait and see if they can claim an at-large bit.
For complete C-USA Women's Tennis Championship information, including match recaps and box scores, log on to www.ConferenceUSA.com.