Feb. 25, 2010
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Green Wave won singles matches on courts one and three and picked up the doubles point with victories in two of three matches, but it was not enough as the Tulane University women's tennis team dropped a 4-3 decision to No. 69 Mississippi State Thursday afternoon at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Center.
Up 1-0 following doubles play, the Wave were bitten by the injury bug as freshman Hila Elster went down with a left-ankle injury and was forced to retired after taking a 3-0 in the first set on Court 6. The Tulane team fought tooth and nail the rest of the way, but the Lady Bulldogs were able to come away with a one-point win. With the loss, Tulane falls to 4-3 on the year. Mississippi State, meanwhile, improves to 5-1.
"We proved yet once again today that we are a rankable team and that we are able to compete with anybody," Tulane head women's tennis coach Terri Sisk said. "It's unfortunate that Hila was leading 3-0 and rolled her ankle, but the bright side of that is there is no fracture or break. That's just a part of collegiate tennis. These things happen. You just hope that the kids can recover from a mental standpoint and that they can continue to get better."
Tulane got off to a good start in doubles and took an early 1-0 lead in the match courtesy of the pairs point. The Wave fell behind early as Mississippi State's Radka Ferancovaa and Mariia Ryzhova defeated Tulane's Lindsay Dvorak and Emma Helistén on Court 2, 8-4. From there, however, the Green Wave tandem of Elizabeth Hamlin and Hila Elster downed Valeriya Makarycheva and Danielle Terpko on Court 3, 8-6, while Tulane's No. 1 team of Mariam Kurdadze and Emma Levy dumped Olesya Tsigvintseva and Natalia Mayuk, 8-6.
Tulane cut the deficit to one at 3-2 when Kurdadze rolled past Tsigvintseva on Court 1 - 7-6, 6-2 - and both Levy and Hamlin both went to third-set situations. Levy dropped her opening frame to Ferancova, 6-2, but rallied in the second set with a 6-0 victory. Hamlin won her opener against Mayuk, 6-5, only to fall in the next frame, 6-1.
Ferancova, however, bounced back with a 6-1, third-set victory to clinch the match for Mississippi State. Hamlin, meanwhile, outlasted Mayuk in the third set on Court 3, 7-5.
"The one thing I'm most proud of today is the way the team handled the injury," Sisk said. "It's really hard to see one of your teammates go to the ground, the trainers come out and have to help her out on crutches. I thought they really battled and played with a lot of heart. I was just proud of them for that today. They could have kind of tanked and been like `Wow, Hila just went down' and let the momentum shift. But they didn't. They played with a lot of heart and kept battling. That is the one things I'm the most proud of today is that nobody gave up. Everybody kept pushing themselves."
The Green Wave return to action on Saturday, Feb. 27, when they return home to the Goldring Tennis Center to take on the Troy before hosting Rice on Sunday. Both matches are slated to begin at noon.
"Both Troy and Rice are very good programs and they bring a lot of experience to us," Sisk said. "Rice is in the Top 40 now after beating No. 18 Arkansas. Troy is riddled with great players. This is just another example of having to be mentally prepared to battle every match. That's something that we're doing. We're going to regroup tonight, we're going to practice tomorrow and we're going to see how things go."
Admission to all regular-season Tulane tennis matches at the Goldring Tennis Center is free.
No. 69 Mississippi State (5-1) Def. Tulane (4-3), 4-3
No. 1: Mariam Kurdadze (TLN) def. Olesya Tsigvintseva (MSU) - 7-6, 6-2
No. 2: Radka Ferancova (MSU) def. Emma Levy (TLN) - 6-2, 0-6, 6-1
No. 3: Elizabeth Hamlin (TLN) def. Natalia Mayuk (MSU) - 6-5, 1-6, 7-5
No. 4: Valeriya Makarycheva (MSU) def. Lindsay Dvorak (TLN) - 6-3, 6-2
No. 5: Mariia Ryzhova (MSU) def. Emma Helistén (TLN) - 6-2, 6-2
No. 6: Danielle Terpko (MSU) def. Hila Elster (TLN) - 0-3, retired
No. 1: Mariam Kurdadze / Emma Levy (TLN) def. Olesya Tsigvintseva / Natalia Mayuk (MSU) - 8-6
No. 2: Radka Ferancova / Mariia Ryzhova (MSU) def. Lindsay Dvorak / Emma Helistén (TLN) - 8-4
No. 3: Elizabeth Hamlin / Hila Elster (TLN) def. def. Valeriya Makarycheva / Danielle Terpko (MSU) - 8-6