May 14, 2010

Waco, Texas - The Tulsa women's tennis team captured a 4-2 victory over North Texas in first round action of the NCAA Tennis Championships on Friday afternoon, and advanced to the second round on Saturday.

Tulsa will play the winner of the No. 1-seed and host Baylor Lady Bears and Northwestern State. The second round match-up will be played at 3:00 pm Saturday.

Tulsa improved to 21-6 on the season, while North Texas closed out the year with a 17-7 record. The Hurricane advances to the NCAA second round for the third time in school history. The previous times that Tulsa advanced came in the 2000 and 2008 campaigns.

As the No. 32 seed, the Hurricane outlasted the Mean Green after garnering the first point of the day with doubles victories at the No. 1 and No. 3 positions. The nation's 50th-ranked team of Alexandra Kichoutkin and JoAnne Karaitiana won the No. 1 doubles point with an 8-1 victory. While Rebecca Row and Michelle Farley shut-out the North Texas team of Madura Ranganathan and Narine Kazarova, 8-0, at the No. 3 position.

Row made quick work of her opponent in singles play as her match was the first to finish. The Tulsa senior defeated Kazarova at the No. 5 slot, 6-1and 6-1. Baylor cut Tulsa's lead to 2-1 as Catalina Cruz defeated Tulsa's Michelle Farley, 6-3, 7-5 at the No. 6 position.

Tulsa's Alexandra Kichoutkin, ranked 66th nationally, gave the Hurricane a 3-1 lead as she captured a victory at No. 1 singles, defeating Madura Ranganthan by a score of 6-2, 6-4.

At the No. 3 singles spot, Tulsa's JoAnne Karaitiana won the first set 6-1, but couldn't close out the point as North Texas' Paula Dinuta captured the next two sets 6-2, 7-5. The victory brought the score to 3-2, but it wouldn't be too much longer that the Hurricane captured the 4-2 victory.

Anastasia Erofeeva lost the first set at the No. 2 position to Irina Paraschiv, 7-5, but battled back to take a 6-3 win in the second set. Erofeeva had no problem in the third and final set as she claimed a 6-0 win.

"I am very happy with the way we competed in doubles. I thought that North Texas came out and out-competed us in certain positions in the singles. I give them a lot of credit, they are well-coached. They were ready, but we prevailed and are looking forward to tomorrow," said Tulsa Head Coach Dean Orford.

Saturday's second round winner, Baylor (27-2) or Northwestern State (20-1) vs. Tulsa, will advance to the NCAA Championships Round of 16, May 20-25, in Athens, Georgia.