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Houston Athletics | March 2, 2014

Houston rallies for dramatic win against 17th-ranked Tulsa

HOUSTON -- The Cougars continued to rewrite the school record book on Saturday, as junior Elena Kordolaimi came through with a huge match-clinching 6-3, 6-7, 6-2 victory from the No. 2 position, to lift Houston to a dramatic 4-3 win against No. 17 Tulsa at the John E. Hoff Tennis Courts.

Less than 24 hours after dropping just their second match of the season at No. 26 Texas on Friday, the Cougars bounced back in a very big way, as the win against Tulsa marks the highest ranked opponent UH has defeated since the computer rankings were instituted back in 2001.

Things didn't look promising early for Houston (8-2), as Tulsa took the doubles point, putting the Cougars in an early 1-0 hole for the third consecutive match, as the tandem of Maria Cardenas and Tina Rupert claimed Houston's lone doubles win on court two, 8-4.

The Golden Hurricane (9-2) then kept the pressure on in singles play, as No. 109 Yelena Nemchen defeated Celia Fraser 7-6, 6-1 at the No. 3 spot to claim a 2-0 advantage against the Cougars.

But Houston refused to give in, as freshman Despoina Vogasari earned a momentum-shifting win against the 70th-ranked player in the country in Samantha Vickers 7-6, 7-5 to put the Cougars on the board at 2-1.

Then it was freshman Tina Rupert who really set the tone for a Cougar rally, as she dug deep to earn a huge come-from-behind 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 victory against Tulsa's Renata Kuricova from the No. 5 spot to equalize things at 2-2

With the momentum starting to shift in Houston's favor, Cardenas made sure it stayed that way, as she grinded out a 7-6, 1-6, 6-3 win against Maria San'Anna at the No. 4 spot to give the Cougars their first lead of the day at 3-2.

However, Tulsa battled back to earn the victory on court six, notching things back up at 3-3.

For the second time in the last three matches and for the fourth time this season, it came down to a single point, and just like Tina Rupert and Rocio Martin did earlier this season, Kordolaimi came through for the Cougars, as Houston improved to 5-1 against ranked opponents this season and 3-1 in one-point affairs.

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