Feb. 3, 2013
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The University of Houston women's tennis team rallied back from a 3-0 deficit but ultimately fell to Mississippi State by a score of 4-3 on Sunday afternoon at A.J. Pitts Tennis Center.
"Two Sundays in a row we have had heartbreakers," head coach Patrick Sullivan said. "Once again we fought our way out of a 3-0 hole and put ourselves in a position to win. I know that Celia is disappointed right now, but believe me it is only because of her hard work this fall that she was able to push a great player to the brink. Give credit to Mississippi State for coming up big when it mattered most. They are a very good team and we gave them all they could handle."
Elena Kordolaimi and Jo Garvey evened doubles play with an 8-5 victory over Mississippi State's Van Geel and Flores at the No. 2 position, but the Lady Bulldogs' 54th-ranked duo of Perper and Tran clinched the crucial opening point with an 8-5 defeat of Charlotte Phillips and Rocio Martin Fernandez at the top spot.
The Cougars quickly fell behind 3-0 in the match before Martin Fernandez put Houston on the board with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Naomi Tran at the No. 3 singles position.
Phillips followed with a gritty 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 win over Lien Van Geel at the No. 4 spot, and Maja Kazimieruk knotted the match and stayed perfect on the season with a 7-6(5), 6-4 win over Petra Ferancova, but Celia Fraser was outlasted by Georgiana Patrasc (6-4, 4-6, 6-4) at the No. 2 spot to clinch the match for MSU.
"I couldn't be more proud of our effort," Sullivan said. "Unfortunately learning how to win these types of matches usually involves losing one or two of them and championship teams are built in matches like this; by learning how to have courage in the big moments. I know it might sound strange to think of it this way but we really have built some equity in the tough loss department and I have been doing this long enough to know that if we keep bringing premium effort week after week they will start rolling our way soon enough."
Houston (4-2) will remain on the road to take on UTSA on Friday and Texas State on Sunday.
Mississippi State 4, Houston 3
1. No. 54 Perper/Tran (MSU) def. Phillips/Martin Fernandez (UH), 8-5
2. Kordolaimi/Garvey (UH) def. Van Geel/Flores (MSU), 8-5
3. Patrasc/Ferancova (MSU) def. Kazimieruk/Fraser (UH), 8-5
Order of Finish: 3,2,1*
1. Alexandra Perper (MSU) def. Elena Kordolaimi (UH), 6-2, 6-2
2. Georgiana Patrasc (MSU) def. Celia Fraser (UH), 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
3. Rocio Martin Fernandez (UH) def. Naomi Tran (MSU), 7-5, 6-2
4. Charlotte Phillips (UH) def. Lien Van Geel (MSU), 6-4, 2-6, 6-1
5. Maja Kazimieruk (UH) def. Petra Ferancova (MSU), 7-6(5), 6-4
6. Sarai Flores (MSU) def. Dionne Sanders (UH), 6-3, 6-3
Order of Finish: 1,6,3,4,5,2*