MADISON, Wisc. – Another great battle at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Team Indoor Championships, another dominant performance by Aurelija Miseviciute, but another California team in the way of a victory as the No. 39 University of Arkansas Lady Razorbacks dropped a close 4-3 decision to No. 12 Fresno State.
“Our performances and improvements these past three days have been fantastic,” said Arkansas head coach Michael Hegarty. “We were one point away in each match from some of the largest wins in this programs fine history.”
Saturday’s match came down to the last drop of the tennis ball amid the deciding point coming in the last singles match of the day.
With the match knotted up at three apiece, Maryori Franco and 43rd-ranked Tinesta Rowe each claimed one set in the first two as the entire match came down to the third set on Court 4. Rowe jumped ahead early and looked in control of the set with a 4-1 game lead, except the relentless Lady’Back in Franco was on the other side of the net.
Franco dashed back to tie things up in the third set 4-4, which eventually became 5-5. Rowe jumped back ahead, 6-5, but there was Franco storming right back to put it at 6-6, forcing a tiebreaker. Franco looked to have control at 5-3 in the tiebreaker, but Rowe came back winning the tiebreaker, 7-5, and the match,6-7 (8), 6-2, 7-6 (5), giving Fresno State the win.
“I am really proud of Maryori, this is what college tennis is all about,” Hegarty said. “She played great and give Tinesta (Rowe) credit, she got a fantastic win.”
In doubles action, senior Audrey Bordeleau and freshman Anouk Tigu continued to streak improving to 5-0 on the season by defeating Vanessa Heroux and Danon Beatty, 8-2. However, Arkansas, 4-3, dropped the doubles point with loses on Courts 1 and 2.
With Fresno State, 2-1, leading 1-0, No. 1 ranked Aurelija Miseviciute got the Lady’Backs back in the match with a, 6-2, 6-2, straight set win over No. 39 Melanie Gloria to tie things up.
FSU bounced back when 94th-ranked Renata Kucerkova took down Tigu, 6-2, 6-2, on Court 3. Arkansas’ past two matches at the Indoor Team Championships were back and forth all day, and Saturday’s was no different. The match became squared at two when Bordeleau toppled Beatty, 6-3, 6-3, on Court 5.
The Lady Bulldogs of FSU countered Arkansas’ win with a victory on Court 2 as No. 11 Anastasia Petukhova defeated Ela Kaluder, 6-3, 6-3, placing them one win away from a match clincher.
On the other hand, there was no giving up in the Lady’Backs as freshman Delia Damaschin rocketed past Heroux, 6-3, 6-2, leaving Court 4 to decide the final score of the match.
Arkansas’ past three matches have been against Top 12 opponents, and coming out of this tournament 0-3, Hegarty believes his team should leave with their heads held high for their great performances.
“This tournament is a real gut check for every team lucky enough to be here, and our gut check was really good.”
Arkansas will be back in action against another top-ranked opponent on Feb. 16 at William & Mary. For Lady’Back tennis statistics and information point your cursor to LADYBACKS.com
1. #1 Tinesta Rowe/Melanie Gloria (FSU) def. #45 Maryori Franco/Nanar Airapetian (UA) 8-5.
2. #29 Anastasia Petukhova/Renata Kucerkova (FSU) def. #12 Aurelija Miseviciute/Ela Kaluder (UA) 8-6
3. Audrey Bordeleau/Anouk Tigu (UA) def. Vanessa Heroux/Danon Beatty (FSU) 8-2
Match Notes: Order of Finish (2,1*,3)
1. #1 Aurelija Miseviciute (UA) def. #39 Melanie Gloria (FSU) 6-2, 6-2.
2. #11 Anastasia Petukhova (FSU) def. Ela Kaluder (UA) 6-3, 6-3.
3. #94 Renata Kucerkova (FSU) def. Anouk Tigu (UA) 6-2, 6-2.
4. #43 Tinesta Rowe (FSU) def. Maryori Franco (UA)6-7 (8), 6-2, 7-6 (5)
5. Audrey Bordeleau (UA) def. Danon Beatty (FSU) 6-3, 6-3.
6. Delia Damaschin (UA) def. Vanessa Heroux (FSU) 6-3, 6-2.
Match Notes: Order of Finish (1,3,5,2,6,4*)