Feb. 21, 2014
PULLMAN, Wash.--- The Cougars kept their stellar season going Friday afternoon, as they rallied from a 2-1 overall deficit to defeat No. 59 Washington State, 5-2, to notch their first road victory of the season out at the Slimmelink Tennis Courts.
For Houston (6-1), the win marks the highest ranked opponent its defeated since downing No. 59 Stephen F. Austin, 5-2 on Jan 15, 2013 in last year's spring season opener. The victory also snaps, what was an eight-match win streak for Washington State (10-2), while it also marks WSU's first home defeat of the season (7-1).
The Cougars jumped on top early, taking the doubles point for the fourth time this season, as senior Celia Fraser and junior Charlotte Phillips teamed up to secure an 8-3 victory on court three, while the tandem of sophomore Elena Kordolaimi and freshman Despoina Vogasari combined to win a nail-biter, 8-6, over WSU's Elizaveta Luzina and Lize Leenknecht.
However, Washington State soon showed why it was 10-1 on the season coming in, as it rallied to take the first two singles points on court two and three to command an overall 2-1 advantage over the Cougars.
But then the fun began, as sophomore Maria Andrea Cardenas bounced back from her heartbreaking third set defeat last week, rallying to take the final two sets over Olga Musilovich, claiming the victory on court four, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, to equalize things at 2-2.
Vogasari then followed that up with a gutsy performance of her own, as she rallied to defeat Elizaveta Luzina, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 from the No. 1 position, dropping Lunzina to 21-4 overall on the season, while Vogasari improved 11-3 overall and 7-0 in dual match play.
With Houston leading 3-1, the momentum had swung, and freshman Tina Rupert capitalized, handily defeating Dajana Ognjenovic in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4, to clinch the big road win for the Cougars.
Junior Charlotte then finished off what was a streak of four unanswered points for the Cougars, taking down WSU's Charlotte Koning, 6-4, 3-6, 1-0 (13-11) to bring the match to the final of 5-2.
Houston now heads to Seattle, where it will clash with No. 40 Washington, Sunday at 2:00 p.m. CT.
No. 66 Houston 5, No. 59 Washington State 2
No. 2 Maria Biryukova (WSU) def. No. 122 Elena Kordolaime (UH) 7-5, 6-0
No. 3 Lize Leenknecht (WSU) def. Celia Fraser (UH) 6-1, 6-4
No. 4 Maria Cardenas (UH) def. Olga Musilovich (WSU) 3-6, 6-1, 6-2
No. 5 Tina Rupert (UH) def. Dajana Ognjenovic (WSU) 6-3, 6-4
No. 6 Charlotte Phillips (UH) def. Charlotte Koning (WSU) 6-4, 3-6, 1-0 (13-11)
Order of Finish: 2,3,4,1,5*,6
No. 1 Despoina Vogasari/Elena Kordolaime (UH) def. Elizaveta Luzina/Lize Leenknecht (WSU) 8-6
No. 2 Maria Biryukova/Olga Musilovich, (WSU) vs. Maria Cardenas/Tina Rupert (UH) 8-3
No. 3 Charlotte Phillips/Celia Fraser (UH) def. Charlotte Koning/Dajana Ognjenovic (WSU) 8-3.
Order of Finish: 2,3,1