March 16, 2013
New Orleans - The Tulane women's tennis team picked up another upset victory over one of the nation's Top-40 teams today as the 50th-ranked Green Wave upended No. 40 Ohio State, 4-2, in the semifinals of the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic at the Lagoon Park Tennis Center in Montgomery, Ala.
With the win, Tulane advances into Sunday's championship match and will take on No. 47 Virginia (5-6) at noon. The Green Wave (10-5) notched its fifth straight win and has now won five of its last seven outings, while Ohio State dropped to 8-5 on the year. Tulane's two Top-50 wins this season have come against No. 38 Georgia State and today against the Buckeyes.
"Any day you beat the No. 40 team in the country at a prestigious tournament is obviously a great day," Tulane head coach Terri Sisk said. "Today was yet another great example of really believing in our team as a unit and knowing that we are a solid program. After going down 3-6 on the last doubles court and fighting back to win I truly believe that set the tone for the day. And credit Ohio State because they didn't back down in singles but we just kept attacking and playing to win."
Today's match began with dogfight in doubles and finished in the same manner in singles. Both teams battled toe-to-toe before the Green Wave captured two of three contests to claim the doubles point.
The two teams split the top two spots with TU junior Klara Vyskocilova and freshman Ipek Birol taking the top spot with an 8-4 win over Ohio State's Kara Cecil and Noelle Malley. But the Buckeyes' No. 2 tandem of Grainne O'Neill and Gabby Steele returned the favor with an 8-4 decision over the Wave's senior duo of Caroline Magnusson and Caroline Thornton.
In singles, Tulane jumped out to leads in four of six contests and Vyskocilova and Levy each claimed wins at their respective positions, but the Buckeyes also won two matches to inch to within a point with two matches remaining.
Vyskocilova downed Dieters at the top spot, 6-0, 6-1, while Levy dispatched Cecil at three, 6-3, 6-1. OSU's Manashirova captured a, 6-2, 6-2, decision against junior Jenny Hois at No. 2, while O'Neill downed Thornton at No. 5, 6-3, 6-3.
But the Green Wave didn't flinch. Birol, playing No. 4 against O'Neill, won her first set and was up in her second set when Magnusson closed out her contest with a, 6-2, 6-3, win over Nicole Fowler at No. 6 to clinch the upset.
No. 1 Klara Vyskocilova/Ipek Birol (TLN) def. Kara Cecil/Noelle Malley (OSU), 8-4
No. 2 Grainne O'Neill/Gabby Steele (OSU) def. Caroline Magnusson/Caroline Thornton (TLN), 8-4
No. 3 Emma Levy/Hila Elster (TLN) def. Kelsey Dieters/Fidan Manashirova (OSU), 9-7
Order of finish: 1,2,3
No. 1 Klara Vyskocilova (TLN) def. Kelsey Dieters (OSU), 6-0, 6-1
No. 2 Fidan Manashirova (OSU) def. Jenny Hois (TLN), 6-2, 6-2
No. 3 Emma Levy (TLN) def. Kara Cecil (OSU), 6-3, 6-1
No. 4 Ipek Birol (TLN) vs. Gabby Steele (OSU), Unfinished
No. 5 Grainne O'Neill (OSU) def. Caroline Thornton (TLN), 6-3, 6-3
No. 6 Caroline Magnusson (TLN) vs. Nicole Flower (OSU), 6-2, 6-3
Order of finish: 1,5,3,2,6