The Thundering Herd advances to semifinal round Saturday
HOUSTON, Texas – The Marshall University’s women’s tennis team defeated East Carolina University, 4-0, Friday afternoon at the Conference USA Championship in Houston, Texas. The championships are hosted by Rice University with matches played at the Jack Hess Tennis Center.
After a short 30 minute lighting delay, the No. 72 and third-seeded Thundering Herd won its quarterfinal match over the sixth-seeded Pirates to advance Marshall to the semifinal round Saturday.
“I think we will have a good match tomorrow,” Marshall’s head coach John Mercer said. “Tulsa is always a tough match and it will be a challenge for us to undertake.”
Marshall improved to 14-10 overall, while ECU ended its season at 14-7.
The Pirates didn’t get one win, as the Herd took the doubles point and then quickly took three straight-set single matches.
The Herd’s pair of Catherine Kellner (Smithtown, N.Y.) and Thaddea Lock (Bristol, England) took an 8-6 decision over Natalie Collins and Tamara Sachs, at the No. 3 position.
The duo of Jessica Keener (Reston, Va.) and Deanna Bailey (McDonough, Ga.) defeated Brooke Walter and Rocio Cabanillas, 8-3, at the No. 2 slot to secure the doubles point for the Herd.
The senior tandem of Kellie Schmitt (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Karolina Soor (Lindesburg, Sweden) left their match unfinished, 7-5, against Varinia Soler and Jessica Cook at the No. 1 mark.
The Herd continued where it left off after its 30 minute lighting delay in singles competition.
Sophomore transfer Kellner started singles play with a victory over Sachs, 6-1, 6-2, at the No. 6 position.
Schmitt, ranked 68th, defeated Cook, 6-2, 6-2, at the No. 1 slot to advance Marshall’s lead to 3-0.
Playing the No. 2 mark, Isabell Raich (Klaus, Austria) defeated Soler, 6-1, 6-2, to secure the victory for the Herd.
Soor’s match against Collins was left unfinished at 6-4. Keener’s match with Cabanillas was also left unfinished at 6-3.
Bailey’s match at the No. 4 position against Walter was left unfished at 7-5, 1-1.
“I believe we are ready to challenge Tulsa,” Coach Mercer added. “This is why we played the schedule we did this year to prepare us for tough championship. Hopefully we have a good day tomorrow and play well.”
With the victory, the Herd leads the all-time series over the Pirates, 1-0. .
Marshall will face No. 38 and the second-seeded Tulsa, Saturday afternoon. Tulsa defeated the No. 7 seeded UCF, 4-0, to advance the Golden Hurricane to the semifinal round.
Tulsa leads the all-time series over Marshall, 2-0. The Golden Hurricane’s pair of Alexandra Kichoutkin and Marta Marcinkowska is the nation’s 84th-ranked duo.
Tulsa enters the match at 22-4 overall. In 2008, the Herd finished runner-up behind Tulsa at the C-USA championship. Marshall earned the doubles point, but couldn’t hold off the Golden Hurricane in singles competition and fell 4-1.
Saturday’s quarterfinal matches are set for 1 p.m. (EST) at the Jack Hess Tennis Center. However, if inclement weather occurs, matches will be moved indoors at the Galleria Tennis and Athletic Club with first-serve set for approximately 2 p.m. (EST).
Complete brackets and updates on the C-USA championship are available at www.conferenceusa.com or through the women’s tennis page at herdzone.com. Live stats can be viewed through Rice’s Web site at Riceowls.com.
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Tennis Match Results
East Carolina vs Marshall
4/17/2009 at Houston, Texas
#72 Marshall 4, East Carolina 0
1. #68 Kellie Schmitt (MAR) def. Jessica Cook (ECU) 6-2, 6-1
2. Isabell Raich (MAR) def. Varinia Soler (ECU) 6-1, 6-2
3. Karolina Soor (MAR) vs. Natalie Collins (ECU) 6-4, unfinished
4. Deanna Bailey (MAR) vs. Brooke Walter (ECU) 7-5, 1-1, unfinished
5. Jessica Keener (MAR) vs. Rocio Cabanillas (ECU) 6-3, unfinished
6. Catherine Kellner (MAR) def. Tamara Sachs (ECU) 6-1, 6-2
1. Kellie Schmitt/Karolina Soor (MAR) vs. Varinia Soler/Jessica Cook (ECU) 7-5, unfinished
2. Deanna Bailey/Jessica Keener (MAR) def. Brooke Walter/Rocio Cabanillas (ECU) 8-3
3. Thaddea Lock/Catherine Kellner (MAR) def. Natalie Collins/Tamara Sachs (ECU) 8-6
East Carolina 14-7
Marshall 14-10; National ranking #72
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (6,1,2)
Quarterfinals of the 14th C-USA Women's Tennis Championships
No. 3 Marshall advances to face No. 2 Tulsa in the Semifinals