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Tulane Tennis' 2009 Season Ends With Loss To UCF In C-USA Tournament
Thursday, 04/16/2009
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Tulane University Team Page

 

HOUSTON – It was a season of learning on the job. It was a year in which eight true freshmen took the court as collegiate student-athletes for the first time and showed what they had to offer the tennis world. It was a semester in which the nation was reintroduced to the Tulane University women’s tennis program.

Playing for the first time since the program suspended operations following the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, the Green Wave surpassed expectations by finishing the regular-season one match above .500. The season, however, came to an all-too-abrupt end as 10th-seeded Tulane dropped a 4-0 decision to No. 7 seed UCF in the first round of the Conference USA Women’s Tennis Championship on Thursday afternoon at the Jake Hess Tennis Stadium on the campus of Rice University.
 
Despite the loss, however, Tulane head women’s tennis coach Terri Sisk was upbeat when discussing where the team goes from here. With all eight players scheduled to return as sophomores for the 2009-10 season – plus the addition of a pair of incoming freshmen – the future of Green Wave tennis appears to be in very capable hands.
 
“As far as the overall season goes, I’m very happy,” Sisk said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the girls. We went 12-12 and played a very tough schedule. That is the one thing I’m proud of. We were 12-12 against some very talented, nationally-ranked programs. We took some losses but we had a plan from day one. We didn’t think we were going to win conference in this first year. It is about getting better and I’m extremely proud of the way this team handled adversity throughout the year.
 
“We didn’t have any seniority on the team. They didn’t have anybody that they could look to as far as a peer or a teammate to tell them, ‘Hey, this is what’s going to happen.’ I think they did a really good job of just tightening their belt and playing. I can’t complain at all. I would not have chosen any other eight girls to be on this first-year team.”
 
The Green Wave dropped the doubles point, 2-0, and the Knights used the momentum of the doubles victory to win the first three singles matches to be completed to end Tulane’s season at 12-12. With the win, UCF improves to 12-9 on the year and advances to play second-seeded Tulsa (21-4) in the C-USA Quarterfinals on Friday at 2 p.m.
 
UCF took the early lead in doubles play as Christy Core and Katie Orletsky defeated Marcela Fonseca and Jessica Lange on Court 3, 8-4. It was a similar story on Court 2 where the Tulane tandem of Mariam Kurdadze and Lindsay Dvorak found themselves on the wrong side of an 8-4 decision to Alexis Rodriguez and Andrea Yacaman.
 
Anna Bartenstein and Elizabeth Hamlin were deadlocked in a 6-6 battle with Jenny Frisell and Elvira Serrot, but due to C-USA Tournament rules, the doubles play was halted once the point had already been decided.
 
“Today, I felt we came out and played very flat in doubles,” Sisk said. “I think all of the girls were very aware that we lost 4-3 after winning the doubles point when we played them back in March. After losing the doubles point today, I think it definitely hurt our confidence. We were just extremely flat and couldn’t get it together. When you get behind 1-0 to a team as talented as UCF, it’s hard to recover. Unfortunately, it set the tone for today’s match.”
 
In singles play, Rodriguez made it a 2-0 affair courtesy of a 6-1, 6-3 win over Caroline Gerber on Court 4, and Orletsky gave the Knights a commanding three-point lead by defeating Hamlin, 6-2, 6-1, on Court 6.
 
While Bartenstein (6-3, 4-4), Kurdadze (6-3, 2-4) and Fonseca (6-2, 6-5) all held leads on Frisell, Serrot and Core on Courts 1, 2 and 5, respectively, the match was stopped when Yacaman finished off a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Dvorak on Court 3.
 
“I don’t think the score in reflective of the match that was played today,” Sisk said. “Anna, Mariam and Marcela  were all about to win their (singles) matches. It was going to be a 4-3 match and it came down to that pesky doubles point. On a positive note, I thought Anna played a much better match this time against Jenny Frisell and Lindsay played a much tighter match against Andrea Yacaman than when we played them in March.”
 
While the loss ended the Tulane season, Sisk remained upbeat about what her team accomplished in 2008-09. Inheriting a program that had won four of the previous five C-USA Tournament titles prior to it suspension in 2005, she realized that the tradition of winning was a lofty one for her team to live up to. Through the highs and lows of the spring season which saw Kurdadze post a 19-5 singles mark and the emergence of Bartenstein – who finished her rookie campaign 7-4 – at the top of the lineup, Sisk and her team will now look to build on their collective experience and are already looking forward to next year.
 
“Now, these girls have a year of collegiate experience under their belts and that is going to help guide them through next year,” she said. “We’ve got two very talented freshmen coming in next year and they are going to be able to help us right away. We’re excited about the future.
 
“Some of our upcoming plans are just to rest, regroup and a talk about ways that we’re going to get better. Hindsight is always 20/20, and in these upcoming, end-of-the season meetings, we will go over a lot of things that we need to do over the summer to prepare for the fall season. The future is very bright for Tulane women’s tennis. I know that.”
 
The 2009 C-USA Women’s Tennis Championship will run through Sunday, April 19, with the championship match slated for 10 a.m. (CDT). The winner of that match will receive the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
 
UCF (12-9, 1-0 C-USA) 4, TULANE (12-12, 3-4 C-USA) 0
 
SINGLES
No. 1 – Anna Bartenstein (TLN) vs. Jenny Frisell (UCF) – 6-3, 4-4, unfinished
No. 2 – Mariam Kurdadze (TLN) vs. Elvira Serrot (UCF) – 6-3, 2-4, unfinished
No. 3 – Andrea Yacaman (UCF) def. Lindsay Dvorak (TLN) – 7-5, 6-3
No. 4 – Alexis Rodriguez (UCF) def. Caroline Gerber (TLN) – 6-1, 6-3
No. 5 – Marcela Fonseca (TLN) vs. Christy Core (UCF) – 6-2, 6-5, unfinished
No. 6 – Katie Orletsky (UCF) def. Elizabeth Hamlin (TLN) – 6-2, 6-1
 
DOUBLES
No. 1 – Bartenstein/Hamlin (TLN) vs. Frisell/Serrot (UCF) – 6-6, unfinished
No. 2 – Rodriguez/Yacaman (UCF) def. Kurdadze/Dvorak (TLN) – 8-5
No. 3 – Core/Orletsky (UCF) def. Fonseca/Jessica Lange (TLN) – 8-4
 
COACH SISK’S COMMENTS FOLLOWING THE SEASON-ENDING LOSS TO UCF
 
On dropping the doubles point and what that did to the momentum of the rest of the match
“Today, I felt we came out and played very flat in doubles. I think all of the girls were very aware that we lost 4-3 after winning the doubles point when we played them back in March. After losing the doubles point today, I think it definitely hurt our confidence. We were just extremely flat and couldn’t get it together. When you get behind 1-0 to a team as talented as UCF, it’s hard to recover. Unfortunately, it set the tone for today’s match.”
 
On if the 4-0 score was deceiving as to how close the match really was
“I don’t think the score in reflective of the match that was played today. Anna (Bartenstein), Mariam (Kurdadze) and Marcela (Fonseca) were all about to win their (singles) matches. It was going to be a 4-3 match and it came down to that pesky doubles point. On a positive note, I thought Anna played a much better match this time against Jenny Frisell and Lindsay played a much tighter match against Andrea Yacaman than when we played them in March.”
 
On being the No. 10 seed in the Conference USA Tournament
“It’s hard to come to a conference tournament as a No. 10 seed when there are two teams in front of you that you had beaten earlier in the year and get a tough first round match like UCF. We knew it was going to be a dogfight. I don’t think that any other match was going to be this intense in a first-round battle. It’s unfortunate, but sometimes these things happen sometimes.”
 
On her opinion of the 2009 season as a whole
“As far as the overall season goes, I’m very happy. I couldn’t be more proud of the girls. We went 12-12 and played a very tough schedule. That is the one thing I’m proud of. We were 12-12 against some very talented, nationally-ranked programs. We took some losses but we had a plan from day one. We didn’t think we were going to win conference in this first year. It is about getting better and I’m extremely proud of the way this team handled adversity throughout the year. We didn’t have any seniority on the team. They didn’t have anybody that they could look to as far as a peer or a teammate to tell them, ‘Hey, this is what’s going to happen.’ I think they did a really good job of just tightening their belt and playing. I can’t complain at all. I would not have chosen any other eight girls to be on this first-year team.”
 
On what the future holds for the Tulane women’s tennis program
“Now, these girls have a year of collegiate experience under their belts and that is going to help guide them through next year. We’ve got two very talented freshmen coming in next year and they are going to be able to help us right away. We’re excited about the future. Some of our upcoming plans are just to rest, regroup and a talk about ways that we’re going to get better. Hindsight is always 20/20, and in these upcoming, end-of-the season meetings, we will go over a lot of things that we need to do over the summer to prepare for the fall season. The future is very bright for Tulane women’s tennis. I know that.”
 
On what Tulane takes from the loss
“It’s hard to lose in the first round of the conference tournament, but at the same time, we had a very respectable 12-12 year. Being the 10th seed in the tournament was tough because we got a very tough first round. But I’m proud to say that even though we were the No. 10 seed, there were teams in front of us that we beat and there were teams that played a much softer schedule who got higher seeds. I wouldn’t have done it any other way. What this does is fuel us for next year. This stung really bad today to lose what looked like a 4-0 match. Really, it was a 4-3 match. I thought we did a good job this season on a whole.”
 
--www.TulaneGreenWave.com--


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