The Thundering Herd loses 4-3 to Tulsa in semifinals
HOUSTON, Texas – The Marshall University’s women’s tennis team upset bid fell short Saturday afternoon to Tulsa in the Conference USA semifinal round. The No. 38 and second-seeded Golden Hurricane defeated the No. 72 and third-seeded Thundering Herd, 4-3, at the Galleria Tennis and Athletic Club.
“We tried hard today but Tulsa finished the close points,” Marshall’s head coach John Mercer said. “I am proud that we have stuck with the best teams in the country this season, but just couldn’t get over the vital humps.”
The Herd finished its regular season 14-11, while the Golden Hurricane improved to 23-4 overall.
Marshall started off strong with two quick doubles victories at the number one and two positions.
The senior tandem of Kellie Schmitt (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Karolina Soor (Lindesburg, Sweden) took an 8-2 decision over Thalia Diaz-Barriga and Marta Marcinkowska, at the No. 1 mark.
The duo of Jessica Keener (Reston, Va.) and Deanna Bailey (McDonough, Ga.) secured the doubles point with an 8-4 victory over Jie Zeng and Anastasia Erofeeva, at the No. 2 slot.
Playing the No. 3 position, Rebecca Row and Alexandra Kichoutkin was leading 7-4 over Catherine Kellner (Smithtown, N.Y.) and Thaddea Lock (Bristol, England) but was left unfinished.
The Herd went into singles competition with a 1-0 lead, but after five hours of play, the Golden Hurricane fought for four singles matches.
Keener enhanced the Herd’s victory to 2-0 with a straight-set victory over Row, 6-3, 6-0, at the No. 5 slot.
Tulsa would then win three straight matches to take the lead, 3-2. Soor fell to Diaz- Barriga, 7-5, 6-1, at the No. 3 mark.
The Golden Hurricane’s Kichoutkin upset Schmitt, ranked 68th, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, at the No. 1 position.
Playing the No. 6 mark, Ewa Szatkowska defeated Kellner, 6-1, 6-3.
The Herd’s Isabell Raich (Klaus, Austria) took a straight-set victory over Zeng, 6-1, 6-4, at the No. 2 slot to tie the match at 3-3.
Tulsa would secure the match with a victory from Erofeeva. Bailey fell 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 to Erofeeva at the No. 6 position.
Tulsa enhanced its all-time series lead over Marshall to 3-0.
Tulsa will now challenge the No. 23 and one-seeded SMU, Sunday morning in the C-USA Championship final round. The championships are hosted by Rice University.
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
Marshall vs Tulsa
4/18/2009 at Houston, Texas
#38 Tulsa 4, #72 Marshall 3
1. Alexandra Kichoutkin (TLS) def. #68 Kellie Schmitt (MAR) 6-4, 3-6, 6-4
2. Isabell Raich (MAR) def. Jie Zeng (TLS) 6-1, 6-4
3. Thalia Diaz-Barriga (TLS) def. Karolina Soor (MAR) 7-5, 6-1
4. Anastasia Erofeeva (TLS) def. Deanna Bailey (MAR) 7-6 (7-2), 6-3
5. Jessica Keener (MAR) def. Rebecca Row (TLS) 6-3, 6-0
6. Ewa Szatkowska (TLS) def. Catherine Kellner (MAR) 6-1, 6-3
1. Kellie Schmitt/Karolina Soor (MAR) def. Thalia Diaz-Barriga/Marta Marcinkowska (TLS) 8-2
2. Jessica Keener/Deanna Bailey (MAR) def. Jie Zeng/Anastasia Erofeeva (TLS) 8-4
3. Rebecca Row/Alexandra Kichoutkin (TLS) vs. Thaddea Lock/Catherine Kellner (MAR) 7-4, unfinished
Marshall 14-11; National ranking #72
Tulsa 23-4; National ranking #38
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (5,3,1,6,2,4)
Semifinals of the 14th Annual C-USA Women's Tennis Championship
No. 2 Tulsa Advances to face No. 1 SMU in the C-USA Women's Tennis Final