The No. 24 Tulsa women's tennis squad rallied from a 3-2 deficit to take down Memphis, 4-3, to advance to the 2013 Conference USA Women's Championship final, on Saturday, at the John E. Hoff Courts.
The Golden Hurricane (19-5) will face No. 20-ranked Rice on the finals at 10 a.m. on Sunday. This marks the second meeting between the two squads, as TU defeated Rice, 5-2, on Feb. 3 at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center. The Golden Hurricane is aiming for its fourth consecutive C-USA crown, and its sixth in program history.
"It is an awfully hard to beat a team like Memphis three times in the same season," commented Head Coach Dean Orford. "Our girls really pulled through today. Memphis is a great rivalry, we always have great, close matches with them, and today's match was no exception. Head Coach Lee Walker is one of the best coaches in college tennis, and he had his team very well prepared. It was a great match, and we are proud of Renata (Kuricova) for coming through in the clutch."
"We expect another tough match tomorrow against Rice," Orford added. "It should be a fantastic match featuring two top-25 teams in women's college tennis. We are familiar with Rice after facing them earlier this year, and we always have tough matches against them. Our girls are looking forward to it tomorrow."
The Golden Hurricane won the doubles point, as freshman Renata Kuricova and junior Maria Sant'Anna dispatched No. 58-ranked Stefanie Mikesz and Caroline Wegner, 8-3, at No. 3 doubles. Tulsa clinched the point as No. 21-ranked Samantha Vickers and Isaura Enrique defeated No. 71-ranked Courtney Collins and Kelly Gray, 8-5, on Court 1.
Memphis took a 2-1 lead as Tulsa lost singles matches on Court 2 and 5.
Senior Michelle Farley evened the match at two-all with a 6-1, 7-6 (7-5) triumph over Liza Tymchenko at No. 3 singles.
The Tigers grabbed a 3-2 lead after TU's Saana Saarteinen fell on Court 4, 1-6, 6-3, 6-0.
The Tulsa rally began on the top court, as No. 14-ranked Samantha Vickers extended her winning streak to 17 with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, victory against No.48-ranked Courtney Collins.
Kuricova clinched the match for TU, with a 6-1, 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (7-4) triumph against Mikesz on Court 6.
Tulsa has now won 10 matches in a row, and 12 of its past 13 tilts
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Tennis Match Results
Memphis vs Tulsa
#24 Tulsa 4, #33 Memphis 3
Apr 20, 2013 at Houston, Texas
(John E. Hoff Courts)
1. #14 Samantha Vickers (TLS) def. #48 Courtney Collins (MEM) 5-7, 6-3, 6-2
2. Tiffany Welcher (MEM) def. Isaura Enrique (TLS) 6-1, 7-5
3. Michelle Farley (TLS) def. Liza Tymchenko (MEM) 6-1, 7-6 (7-5)
4. Caroline Wegner (MEM) def. Saana Saarteinen (TLS) 1-6, 6-3, 6-0
5. Alyssa Hibberd (MEM) def. Maria Sant'Anna (TLS) 7-6 (0-5), 6-3
6. Renata Kuricova (TLS) def. Stefanie Mikesz (MEM) 6-1, 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (7-4)
1. #21 Samantha Vickers/Isaura Enrique (TLS) def. #71 Courtney Collins/Kelly Gray (MEM) 8-5
2. Michelle Farley/Saana Saarteinen (TLS) vs. Tiffany Welcher/Alyssa Hibberd (MEM) 6-7, unfinished
3. Renata Kuricova/Maria Sant'Anna (TLS) def. #58 Stefanie Mikesz/Caroline Wegner (MEM) 8-3
Memphis 17-6; National ranking #33
Tulsa 19-5; National ranking #24
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (2,5,3,4,1,6)