TCU Stifles Tulsa In First Round
May 9, 2009
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The TCU women's tennis team advanced into the second round of the NCAA Team Championship with a 4-1 triumph over No. 36-3rd seed Tulsa Saturday at the Billingsley Tennis Center, advancing to 17-10 for the spring. The Horned Frogs have continued past the opening match in five of their last seven NCAA appearances.
"I'd like to thank the team for being so mentally tough today," TCU head coach Jefferson Hammond said. "I think we are much tougher mentally today than we were at this point last season. It is something that we have focused on all season and it is something we will have to continue if we want to keep advancing in this tournament."
The Frogs jumped out to the 1-0 lead after cruising through the doubles action, despite sitting through an hour and a half rain delay. TCU's all-MWC doubles squad of Katariina Tuohimaa and Kayla Duncan led off with an impressive 8-4 victory over Tulsa's duo of Anastasia Erofeeva and Jie Zing at the No. 2 position. Tuohimaa and Duncan never trailed in the match, claiming four of the final six games.
TCU's 39th-ranked senior tandem of Macall Harkins and Anna Sydorska completed the sweep with an 8-6 victory over the Golden Hurricanes' pairing of Marta Marcinkowska and Thalia Diaz-Barriga. The Frogs' captains also jumped out to an early lead, but saw it slowly trim down as the match continued. As the two teams battle to a 6-6 score, the Purple and White prevailed to take the next two games and clinch the doubles point.
"The doubles point was huge for us," Hammond said. "I think, psychologically, we felt a lot better knowing that we had that tucked in our back pocket."
With the win, Sydorska picked up her 104th career doubles win, just one victory shy of matching Lori Nelson for the program record. The Lviv, Ukraine product also surpassed Angela Bartzen and Teresa Dobson in career combined wins, notching her 177th victory as a Horned Frog to claim sole possession for the fifth-most career victories in TCU history.
Harkins dominated Tulsa's Zeng to begin singles action from the No. 2 position, toppling her to the tune of 6-1, 6-2. The Palos Verdes, Calif., has earned straight-set victories in nine of her 14 wins this spring, moving to 14-10 overall. The win gave TCU a 2-0 lead in the match.
Seconds after freshman Gaby Mastromarino slipped from the No. 6 position to cut the Frogs' lead in half, sophomore Idunn Hertzberg added to the TCU advantage with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Rebecca Row at the No. 5 slot. Hertzberg had to battle her way to victory, cutting down 3-1 and 4-2 deficits in the second set. The Oslo, Norway product took the final four games to move the Frogs' lead to 3-1.
Duncan clinched the TCU win in a see-saw battle on court four. The newcomer lashed out to a 5-1 lead in the opening set, only to watch Erofeeva dwindle it down to 5-5, before sealing the frame by a 7-5 tally. In the second stanza, the Winston-Salem, N.C., native didn't lead until she stole the final three games to clinch the match, 7-5, 6-4.
"I started out playing well, but my opponent made some good adjustments to throw me off of my game plan," Duncan said. "I found myself overplaying, so I had to re-focus my strategy and it worked out with a win."
TCU will face host No. 14-1st seed Arkansas in the second round of the NCAA Team Championships Sunday. First serve is set for 2 p.m. CT and fans can follow the live action from GoFrogs.com. Visit NCAAsports.com for complete coverage of the 2009 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championships.