Feb. 16, 2013
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The University of Houston women's tennis prevailed in another tight contest on Saturday afternoon, edging out Florida Gulf Coast by a score of 4-3 in Fort Myers, Fla., to improve to 7-3 overall and 4-2 on the road this spring.
"Being down a match on the doubles and having to win two tiebreakers was the key in a very tight match," head coach Patrick Sullivan said. "They say wind is the great equalizer and there were 30 mph gusts. Florida Gulf Coast has a ton of heart and really pushed us hard in the singles until the very end."
After dropping the opening doubles match at the top position, the Houston tandems of Elena Kordolaimi and Jo Garvey and Celia Fraser and Maja Kazimieruk both triumphed in tiebreakers to seal the crucial doubles point and put Houston up 1-0 in the contest.
The top of the Houston singles lineup bounced back from a tough outing on Friday, as Fraser kicked off play with a 6-1, 6-1 rout of Mandic at the No. 2 position and Rocio Martin Fernandez followed up with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Bechtel at the No. 3 spot to improve to 7-2 this spring and put the Cougars on the verge of victory with a 3-0 lead.
The Eagles stormed back, however, taking matches at the bottom three positions to even the contest and put the attention on the top spot, as Kordolaimi prevailed with a 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 victory over Means to clinch the Houston win.
"It's unusual to get to be the deciding point in a 4-3 match more than a couple of times per season and Elena (Kordolaimi) was there twice in a row this weekend," Sullivan said. "She fell short yesterday and I was very glad that she was able to redeem herself today. Celia (Fraser) and Rocí (Martin Fernandez) also came back from tough losses yesterday and I was pleased that the entire lineup was able to contribute this weekend. It was far from beautiful, but this is the type of competition that makes a team tougher and exactly the type of matches we need to be playing at this point."
After six consecutive matches on the road, the Cougars will return home to play host to Louisiana Tech (2 p.m.) on Friday and UTPA (11 a.m.) on Sunday.
Houston 4, Florida Gulf Coast 3
1. Elena Kordolaimi (UH) def. S. Means (FGCU), 5-7, 7-5, 6-3
2. Celia Fraser (UH) def. Mandic (FGCU), 6-1, 6-1
3. Rocio Martin Fernandez (UH) def. Bechtel (FGCU), 6-3, 7-5
4. Sterkel (FGCU) def. Charlotte Phillips (UH), 7-5, 6-4
5. E. Means (FGCU) def. Maja Kazimieruk (UH), 7-5, 7-5
6. Botha (FGCU) def. Dionne Sanders (UH), 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 4, 6, 5, 1*
1. Bechtel/Botha (FGCU) def. Martin Fernandez/Phillips (UH), 8-4
2. Kordolaimi/Garvey (UH) def. Sterkel/Mandic (FGCU), 8-7(4)
3. Fraser/Kazimieruk (UH) def. Means/Means (FGCU), 8-7(3)
Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3*