April 19, 2013
New Orleans - The Tulane women's tennis team saw its run toward a conference championship come to an unexpected end today as the 46th-ranked Green Wave dropped a hard fought, 4-2, decision to 51st-ranked SMU in the quarterfinal round of the 2013 Conference USA Championships at the John E. Hoff Courts in Houston, Texas.
Tulane saw its seven-match win streak come to an end and dropped to 17-7 overall, while SMU improved to 14-9. The Green Wave, which lost for the first time in over a month, will now hold out hope for an at-large bid to the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
"Today was a disappointing day for our team," Tulane head coach Terri Sisk said. "We came out extremely flat in doubles and lost a close battle on the deciding court, 9-7, and to be honest I think the team knew we were in an uphill battle from there. We battled really hard and won first sets on four of the singles courts but just couldn't pull it today out."
"All we can do know is hope for an at large bid to the NCAA tournament and with the spring that we have had, I believe we are more than deserving. I'm proud of this team. They worked hard and had a great year. It's hard to be upset for long when we went 17-7 on the year and reached a season high No. 38 nationally. We are going to relax for several days, rest our bodies and hope for postseason play," Sisk added.
The teams began the match with doubles and the Mustangs claimed the No. 1 and 3 spots to secure the crucial doubles point. TU's senior duo of Caroline Magnusson and Caroline Thornton got the Wave started off on the right foot with their 8-4 win at No. 2 over Hristina Dishkova and Holly Verner.
Tulane's top tandem of junior Klara Vyskocilova and Ipek Birol battled toe-to-toe with SMU's 66th-ranked team of Aleks Malyarchikova and Vaszilisza Bulgakova, but fell short, 9-7, and the Mustangs clinched the point at No. 3 when Edyta Cieplucha and Elena Fayner topped senior Emma Levy and junior Jenny Hois, 8-3.
Tulane got on the board when Levy outlasted Bulgakova in a three-set thriller at three, 7-6, 2-6, 6-3. The win for Levy was her 14th straight singles victory and she improved to 24-8 overall this season. The Wave then trimmed the lead to 3-2 following Magnusson's, 6-4, 6-3, win over Yana Erkeeva at six. The win was Magnusson's 12th straight victory.
But SMU clinched the win when Dishkova got past Thornton at five, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
No. 1 #66 Aleks Malyarchikova/Vaszilisza Bulgakova (SMU) def. Klara Vyskocilova/Ipek Birol (TLN), 9-7
No. 2 Caroline Magnusson/Caroline Thornton (TLN) def. Hristina Dishkova/Holly Verner (SMU), 8-4
No. 3 Edyta Cieplucha/Elena Fayner (SMU) def. Emma Levy/Jenny Hois (TLN), 8-3
Order of Finish: 2,1,3
No. 1 No. 74 Aleks Malyarchikova (SMU) def. No. 58 Klara Vyskocilova (TLN), 6-2, 6-3
No. 2 Edyta Cieplucha (SMU) def. Jenny Hois (TLN), 6-2, 6-0
No. 3 Emma Levy (TLN) def. Vaszilisza Bulgakova (SMU) 7-6, 2-6, 6-3
No. 4 Ipek Birol (TLN) vs. Elena Fayner (SMU), Unfinished
No. 5 Hristina Dishkova (SMU) def. Caroline Thornton (TLN), 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
No. 6 Caroline Magnusson (TLN) def. Yana Erkeeva (SMU) 6-4, 6-3
Order of Finish: 2,1,3,6,5