Cougar Tennis Advances at NCAA Championship
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Freshman Charlotte Koning's straight-set win at No. 6 singles propelled No. 31 Washington State to a 4-3 victory over No. 36 Florida State in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Women's Tennis Championship Friday at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex.
With the win the Cougars (19-6) advance to the second round of the NCAA Championship for the second time in school history, the other coming in 2001 when the Cougars defeated Indiana 4-0. WSU will face host and No. 2 Florida Saturday afternoon at noon PT. Florida State ends its season at 13-11.
"I'm ready proud of our players," said WSU Head Coach Lisa Hart. "Capturing the opening doubles point is always so important and today it was the difference. We received big wins from Luda and Liz, which we have all year, and then to have Charlotte pull out the win at No. 6 was special. It capped a great day for Cougar tennis."
The match came down to No. 6 with the team score locked at 3-3. Koning jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the first set only to have Amy Sargeant fight back to tie it at 5-5. Koning captured a service break and closed out the set 7-5. In the second the Cougar freshman, who earned her 20th singles victory of the season, took a 3-1 lead that she didn't relinquish, closing out the match on her first match point, 7-5, 6-4.
"I was just playing for each point and got out to an early lead," said Koning. " At that point I got a little nervous but was able to pull out the first set. The second set was actually the same story but I got a lot of support from the team and Lisa (Hart) really helped me through the match."
The Cougars earned the opening doubles point to lead 1-0 heading into singles. That lead was quickly erased as at No. 3 Florida State's Francesca Segarelli defeated Ksenia Googe, 6-1, 6-0, evening the match. Two minutes later Mia Vriens gave the Seminoles a 2-1 lead as she defeated Andjela Kankaras at no. 4, 6-2, 6-1.
Florida State increased its lead to 3-1 when Carolina De Los Santos recorded a 6-0, 6-2 win at No. 5 over Elizaveta Luzina.
Though down 3-1 the Cougars were ahead in the remaining three matches. At No. 2 Elisabeth Fournier, ranked No. 108 nationally, posted a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Ruth Seaborne to cut the deficit in half. With the first set even at 2-2, Fournier captured eight of the next nine games for a 6-3, 4-0 advantage. Seaborne fought back to get as close as 5-3 before Fournier closed out the match.
Shortly thereafter Liudmila Vasilieva, ranked No. 51 nationally, finished off a 6-4, 6-2 win over Leyla Erkan at No. 1 singles. Following a close first set which Vasilieva won after breaking Erkan's serve at 4-4, the Cougar junior jumped out early on the second set and never looked back as she evened the match at 3-3, setting the stage for Koning.
The day began with doubles as the Cougars captured the first two matches for the opening point. At No. 3 Fournier and Koning used two service breaks to take a 6-2 lead over Segarelli and Vriens. Each team held serve the rest of the way as WSU won 8-4.
At No. 1 the Cougar duo of Googe and Kankaras fell behind 3-1 to the Seminole pair of Sargeant and De Los Santos. WSU rallied for five straight games to wrestle control and lead 6-3. Florida State used a break of serve to even the match at 6-6 before the Cougars closed out the match by sweeping the final two games to clinch the team point.
At No. 2 WSU's Vasilieva and Luzina were in a tight battle with Erkan and Seaborne, ranked No. 86 in the nation. The teams went back-and-forth until Florida State broke open a 4-4 match with three straight games for a 7-4 lead. After the Cougars closed the gap to 7-5, the match was abandoned with the doubles point no longer in doubt.
WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY TENNIS
2012 NCAA Championships
No. 31 Washington State 4 def. No. 36 Florida State 3
May 11, 2012
No. 1 Ksenia Googe/Andjela Kankaras (WSU) def. Amy Sargeant/Carolina De Los Santos (FSU) 8-6
No. 2 Liudmila Vasilieva/Elizaveta Luzina (WSU) vs. No. 86 Leyla Erkan/Ruth Seaborne (FSU) DNF
No. 3 Elisabeth Fournier/Charlotte Koning (WSU) def. Francesca Segarelli/Mia Vriens (FSU) 8-4.
Order of finish: 3,1
No. 1 No. 51 Liudmila Vasilieva (WSU) def. Leyla Erkan (FSU) 6-4, 6-2
No. 2 No. 108 Elisabeth Fournier (WSU) def. Ruth Seaborne (FSU) 6-3, 6-3
No. 3 Francesca Segarelli (FSU) def. Ksenia Googe (WSU) 6-1, 6-0
No. 4 Mia Vriens (FSU) def. Andjela Kankaras (WSU) 6-2, 6-1
No. 5 Carolina De Los Santos (FSU) def. Elizaveta Luzina (WSU) 6-0, 6-2
No. 6 Charlotte Koning (WSU) def. Amy Sargeant (FSU) 7-5, 6-4
Order of finish: 3,4,5,2,1,6