CLEMSON, SC - The 13th-seeded Clemson women’s tennis team took down Ohio Valley Conference Champion Eastern Kentucky, 5-0, in the First Round of the 2013 NCAA Women’s Tennis Team Championships. Clemson (15-7) advances to play Vanderbilt (16-11) in the second round at 11:00 am on Saturday at the Hoke Sloan Tennis Center. The match was originally scheduled to be played at 1:00 pm, but will be played earlier due to the threat of inclement weather.
Vanderbilt defeated Indiana, 4-0, earlier in the day in the other first round match. Clemson and Vanderbilt have split four all-time meetings, with the most recent coming in a 4-2 Tiger win in 2011.
The Tigers improved to 12-1 under Nancy Harris in home NCAA matches, and advanced to the second round for the 12th straight season.
Clemson’s lineup of three freshmen and three sophomores came out firing in their first NCAA Tournament experience. The Tigers gained early momentum in claiming the doubles point, and then won all six first sets in singles in a race to the finish.
“We really like Yana and Bea leading at one,” said Head Coach Nancy Harris, who improved to 23-13 in NCAA play all-time. “I think they set the standard for the two and the three. They are very solid they have fun playing together. I really think that you need a solid one so that the two and the three can look up and go wow we need to play better. Right now we are pleased with these three and I think we can get a lot better. I think we will get a lot better throughout the tournament.”
The Tigers improved to 9-0 this season when claiming the doubles point, dropping just six games total in the three matches on Friday. Liz Jeukeng and Ani Miao won their match, 8-1 on court three to improve to 4-3 together, and Romy Koelzer and Tristen Dewar won, 8-3 on court two to clinch the point, as Koroleva and Gumulya led, 7-2 on court one when the point was clinched.
In singles, no Clemson player dropped more than a game in the first set.
“We wanted to get on and off the court as quickly as we could, we didn’t know what the weather was going to do, we didn’t want to have to go indoors and they did,” said Harris. “They took care of business.”
Romy Koelzer and Beatrice Gumulya each earned their third NCAA Tournament singles victory. Koelzer won, 6-1, 6-0 on court four, and Gumulya won, 6-0, 6-0 to give Clemson a 3-0 lead. Koelzer won her 20th match of the season and 38th of her career in taking the court four decision. Gumulya stayed hot, improving to 24-4 on the season, and winning her ninth straight match.
The clinching point came down to Koroleva at one and Dewar at six. Each player was in the midst of match point when Dewar finished off Marcela Jimenez, 6-1 , 6-1, just as Koroleva defeated Amandine Faouzi on one.
Liz Jeukeng was also serving for the match up 6-1, 5-2 on court two when the match was halted.
The Tigers will look to continue the momentum on saturday against the Commodores, and know that doubles success will be key.
“It’s huge and we continue to get better with our doubles and I think tomorrow they will be even better. They will have a little more feel because they haven’t played in a while now. I was delighted to get this match, especially with the idea we will play one (more) match with Vanderbilt or Indiana, so I think that experience was big.”
Tennis Match Results
Eastern Kentucky vs Clemson
May 10, 2013 at Clemson, SC
(Hoke Sloan Tennis Center)
#13 Clemson 5, Eastern Kentucky 0
1. #16 Yana Koroleva (CU) def. Amandine Faouzi (EKU) 6-1, 6-2
2. #33 Liz Jeukeng (CU) vs. Kristina Labeja (EKU) 6-1, 5-2, unfinished
3. #40 Beatrice Gumulya (CU) def. Saioa Oscoz (EKU) 6-0, 6-0
4. Romy Koelzer (CU) def. Melissa Gerritsen (EKU) 6-1, 6-0
5. Ani Miao (CU) vs. Milena Poffo (EKU) 6-1, unfinished
6. Tristen Dewar (CU) def. Marcela Jimenez (EKU) 6-1, 6-1
1. Yana Koroleva/Beatrice Gumulya (CU) vs. Kristina Labeja/Melissa Gerritsen (EKU) 7-2, unfinished
2. Romy Koelzer/Tristen Dewar (CU) def. Saioa Oscoz/Milena Poffo (EKU) 8-3
3. Liz Jeukeng/Ani Miao (CU) def. Amandine Faouzi/Danielle Kinnen (EKU) 8-1
Eastern Kentucky 19-7
Clemson 15-7; National ranking #13
Order of finish: Doubles (,2,3); Singles (4,3,6,1)
NCAA Championships - 1st Round in Clemson, SC
Clemson Advances to NCAA Second Round