Feb. 28, 2009
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - The top of the Green Wave lineup won their singles matches in straight sets as the Tulane University women's tennis team won the Inaugural Islander Invitational with a 4-1 victory over host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Saturday morning at the Corpus Christi Country Club.
While the wind howled, the playing surface was slick due to an overnight shower and the crowd heckled Tulane's young team, the Green Wave completed the weekend 3-0 to win the reinstated program's first tournament title since claiming the Conference USA Championship in 2005.
Impending inclement weather forced the cancellation of doubles play and the contest was halted once Tulane scored its fourth point of the day. With Saturday's win, Tulane improves to 7-7 on the year. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, meanwhile, falls to 4-5.
"Going into our match knowing that this was for the tournament title, I kind of sat back and just observed what the team was doing," Tulane head women's tennis coach Terri Sisk said. "I knew even during warm-ups that our team was ready. I could tell they had their blinders on and they were ready to play. They wanted to bring Tulane a tournament title.
"They wanted to be that team comprised of all freshmen to win the title. Today, overall, it was an incredible performance from everyone on the court. The best part about today's victory is the emotional control and mental preparation for a day that was not very conducive to tennis. I think it shows true direction of where this program is heading."
Freshman Anna Bartenstein continued the hot start to her collegiate career, downing Mima Cicak on Court 1, 6-3, 6-4. Fellow rookie Mariam Kurdadze posted her fifth straight singles decision with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Nadia Filmalter on Court 2, and Lindsay Dvorak emerged victorious on Court 3 with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Nina Ciric.
The win over the Islanders marked the second time in 2009 the Green Wave posted a three-match winning streak, tying the mark set from Jan. 22-30 when Tulane posted victories over UNO, Xavier-New Orleans and Southern. While the Green Wave got a boost from Bartenstein - who made her collegiate debut yesterday in the two matches against UTEP and Texas-Pan America - the other five singles players continued to show steady improvement to help the team leave the Lone Star State with a tourney title.
"The one thing that I'm most proud of is that this year, I made up my mind that we would not have a year full of teams that we knew would never be ranked. I decided to go ahead and put this team in a very difficult schedule. It's not about what I want to do right now, but it's what I want to do in the future. I knew if I put those girls in those tough matches early in the season, tough victories like this weekend were bound to happen eventually. Did we gain confidence? Absolutely."
The Green Wave return to action on Sunday, March 8, when they return home to the Goldring Tennis Center to take on Illinois State at 1 p.m. Admission to that match, and to the remaining 2009 home contests, is free.
TULANE (7-7) 4, TEXAS A&M-CORPUS CHRISTI (4-5) 1
No. 1 - Anna Bartenstein (TLN) def. Mirna Cicak (AMCC) - 6-3, 6-4
No. 2 - Mariam Kurdadze (TLN) def. Nadia Filmalter (AMCC) - 6-0, 6-0
No. 3 - Lindsay Dvorak (TLN) def. Nina Ciric (AMCC) - 6-4, 6-3
No. 4 - Erika Iriate (AMCC) vs. Elizabeth Hamlin (AMCC) - 7-6, 4-1, unfinished
No. 5 - Alexandra Dyckman (AMCC) def. Caroline Gerber (TLN) - 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
No. 6 - Marcela Fonseca (TLN) def. Pernelle Soulie (AMCC) - 6-1, 6-2