FORT WORTH, Texas. –
In a dramatic finish, the No. 21 TCU women's tennis team defeated No. 25 Auburn by a score of 4-3 Sunday at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center. The Horned Frogs improved to 3-2 overall, earning their second-consecutive win over a top-25 opponent and third in the last four matches.
“I’m really happy for the team, this was a great win. Our fans really helped pull us through and it was a great feeling have such support,” TCU head coach Jefferson Hammond
said. “Auburn really stepped it up when they were down 3-1 and it was anybody’s match.”
The Frogs earned the doubles point by claiming the Nos. 2 and 3 positions. The 28th-ranked duo of Munch-Soegaard and sophomore Maria Babanova
paired up for the first time this spring to earn an 8-6 win over Auburn’s Fani Chifchieva and Whitney Chappell. TCU clinched the point with freshman Kayla Duncan
and sophomore Katariina Tuohimaa’s 8-3 victory against the Tigers’ Myrthe Molenveld and Dunja Djuranovic.
Auburn quickly brought the match to an even score at 1-1, snatching the first singles match from the No. 3 position. TCU would storm back to a 3-1 advantage as newcomers Duncan and Gaby Mastromarino
tacked on wins in straight sets from the Nos. 5 and 6 spots, respectively. Duncan, a Winston-Salem, N.C. product, took down Molenveld, 6-0, 6-2. Mastromarino picked up her third singles win of the year with a 7-5, 6-1 finish against Daniela Vukadinovic.
After falling in the Nos. 2 and 3 positions, it all came down to the No. 1 court and junior Nina Munch-Soegaard
, who clinched the win for the Frogs, taking down No. 6 Fani Chifchieva from Auburn, forcing the match into a third-set tiebreaker and winning the battle, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (6). The Amarillo, Texas native rushed back into the match after dropping the opening set, taking the middle set and jumping to a 4-1 lead early in the final frame. Munch-Soegaard is now 5-0 in singles action, all coming against ranked opponents.
“Nina handled the pressure great, did everything she could to win and did. It was great to be able to see the team come through when it got tough,” Hammond said. “We will have to earn everything this year, and nothing will come easy. We will need to continue to have a strong will to prepare to win and have quality practices as we head forward before we play N.C. State.”
TCU will enjoy a two-week layoff before hosting North Carolina State at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center on Feb 21.
No. 21 TCU 4, No. 25 Auburn 3
1. No. 12 Nina Munch-Soegaard
(TCU) def. No. 6 Fani Chifchieva (AU) 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (8-6)
2. No. 86 Alex Haney (AU) def. No. 49 Macall Harkins
(TCU) 5-7, 7-5, 6-0
3. No. 41 Melissa Koning (AU) def. Katariina Tuohimaa
(TCU) 6-0, 6-4
4. Whitney Chappell (AU) def. Anna Sydorska
(TCU) 6-3, 6-4
5. Kayla Duncan
(TCU) def. Myrthe Molenveld (AU) 6-0, 6-2
6. Gaby Mastromarino
(TCU) def. Daniela Vukadinovic (AU) 7-5, 6-1
Order of Finish: 3,5,6,4,2,1*
1. No. 22 Melissa Koning/Alex Haney (AU) vs. No. 16 Macall Harkins/Anna Sydorska (TCU) 9-7, unfinished
2. No. 28 Nina Munch-Soegaard/Maria Babanova (TCU) def. Fani Chifchieva/Whitney Chappell (AU) 8-6
3. Kayla Duncan/Katariina Tuohimaa (TCU) def. Myrthe Molenveld/Dunja Djuranovic (AU) 8-3
Order of Finish: 2, 3*