April 9, 2010
NEW ORLEANS - When the Tulane University women's tennis team took the court Friday afternoon for the final home match of the 2010 season, the weather in the New Orleans area was near perfect. The sun was shining, a cool breeze was blowing and there wasn't a cloud in the sky.
The Green Wave responded to the near perfect conditions with a nearly flawless performance as Tulane swept Conference USA foe UTEP, 7-0, at the Golding Tennis Center. With the win, the Wave improved to 10-8 on the year and 2-2 in league play. UTEP, meanwhile, fell to 8-12 overall and 0-4 in conference action.
"We talked about it in the locker room before the match today but we wanted to come out pretty quickly and pretty convincingly today since we had a three-week break," Tulane head women's tennis coach Terri Sisk said. "I thought the girls did a really good job of stepping up to the challenge of playing aggressive doubles and making something happen fairly quickly inside the point. We took that momentum from doubles into singles and the girls played really smart, high-percentage tennis today."
As a team, the Green Wave outscored the Miners 24-8 in doubles play and won all six singles contests in straight sets. The Tulane tandem of sophomore Mariam Kurdadze and freshman Emma Levy go things going early as they defeated Dariya Abdrakhmanova and Alexandra Glebova, 8-1, in No. 1 doubles play while Hila Elster and Elizabeth Hamlin clinched the doubles point with an 8-4 victory over UTEP's No. 3 doubles team of Marian DeLuca and Austin Lavallii. Lindsay Dvorak and Emma Helistén completed the doubles sweep with an 8-3 win on Court 2 over Carolina DeLuca and Ximena Fuentes.
From there, Elster wrapped up a 6-0, 6-0 sweep of Veronika Makashov on Court 6, Helistén downed Fuentes 6-0, 6-2 on Court 5, and Hamlin overcame a late UTEP rally to post a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Marina DeLuca on Court 3.
"I realize that I am the coach of this team and it may sound a bit biased, but this is a very strong team," Sisk said. "When they go out there and make their mind up to play aggressive tennis, they can do anything that they want to. That's what they made their mind up to do today - to have another conference win and help their seeding for the tournament.
"My hat is off to them. I'm very proud of their fight, their body language. Everything about the team today was exactly what I asked and that's all any coach could ever ask for."
The Green Wave return to action on Saturday, April 10, when they travel to Hattiesburg, Miss., to take on Memphis at the Tatum Park/Racquet Club and Tulane will close out the regular season a day later when they battle league foe Southern Miss on the same courts. Both of those matches are slated to begin at noon. Following the regular-season finale against the Golden Eagles, Tulane will open play in the 2010 Conference USA Women's Tennis Championship on Thursday, April 22, in Tulsa, Okla. The winner of the four-day event will receive the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
TULANE GREEN WAVE (10-8, 2-2 C-USA) DEFEATS UTEP MINERS (8-12, 0-4 C-USA) - 7-0
No. 1: Mariam Kurdadze (Tulane) def. Dariya Abdrakhmanova (UTEP) - 6-2, 6-3
No. 2: Emma Levy (Tulane) def. Carolina DeLuca (UTEP) - 6-1, 6-0
No. 3: Elizabeth Hamlin (Tulane) def. Marina DeLuca (UTEP) - 6-2, 6-4
No. 4: Lindsay Dvorak (Tulane) def. Alexandra Glebova (UTEP) - 6-1, 6-2
No. 5: Emma Helistén (Tulane) def. Ximena Fuentes (UTEP) - 6-0, 6-2
No. 6: Hila Elster (Tulane) def. Veronika Makashov (UTEP) - 6-0, 6-0
No. 1: Mariam Kurdadze / Emma Levy (Tulane) def. Dariya Abdrakhmanova / Alexandra Glebova (UTEP) - 8-1
No. 2: Lindsay Dvorak / Emma Helistén (Tulane) def. Carolina DeLuca / Ximena Fuentes (UTEP) - 8-3
No. 3: Elizabeth Hamlin / Hila Elster (Tulane) def. Marina DeLuca / Austin Lavallii (UTEP) - 8-4