Feb. 23, 2014
SEATTLE--- It all came down to Tina Rupert's court five matchup, and she delivered with a dramatic, come-from-behind, 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory to seal Houston's 4-3 upset win over No. 40 Washington, Sunday afternoon inside the Nordstrom Tennis Center.
The freshman looked anything but inexperienced over the weekend, as her two singles victories at Washington State and Washington each represented the clinching points for Houston, as it was able to earn back-to-back road victories over ranked opponents for the first time since the 2001-02 season, while the Cougars' win over the Huskies on Sunday marked the program's highest ranked victory since defeating No. 40 Louisville (4-3) on March 22, 2008.
Washington (8-2) began the match showing why it was considered as one of the top programs in the country, as it earned 8-2 and 8-3 doubles victories on courts one and two, to claim a 1-0 lead over the Cougars heading into singles play. Celia Fraser and Charlotte Phillips improved to 3-0 as a doubles tandem this year, as they won their doubles matchup 8-7 (7-0) over the Huskies' Julija Lukac and Andjela Nemcevic.
With Houston (7-1) trailing 1-0, junior Charlotte Phillips put the Cougars on the board, easily defeating Natali Coronel in straight sets, 6-0, 6-4 to tie things up at 1-1.
Then freshman Despoina Vogasari showed everyone why she is ranked No. 125 in the country, as she came through with 6-3, 6-4, straight set victory, improving to a perfect 8-0 during dual play, while more importantly sporting Houston its first lead of the day, at 2-1.
But just when the Cougars thought they had some momentum rolling, the Huskies struck back with a statement of their own, taking victories on courts two and three to reclaim a 3-2 advantage.
With Houston's back up against the wall, sophomore Maria Andrea Cardenas dug deep to earn a clutch 7-6 (7-4) set two victory on court four, clinching the overall 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) win over Andjela Nemcevic to keep the Cougars alive and equalize things at 3-3.
And then came Rupert, who sealed deal for Houston on court five, clinching the match on the third and final set, to bring the final to 4-3.
After earning an impressive sweep during their trip to the Pacific Northwest, the Cougars now return home to the state of Texas, where they'll head to Austin and take on the 18th ranked Texas Longhorns, Friday at 2:00 p.m. CT
Match Notes: Houston's wins at No. 59 Washington State and No. 40 Washington mark the two highest ranked opponents UH has defeated in consecutive matches in school history....this weekend also marked the first time the Cougars had defeated ranked teams in consecutive outings since downing both No. 75 Utah (5-0) on March 13 and No. 75 UCF (5-2) on March 16, 2004...Cougars earned back-to-back ranked road wins for the first time since 2001-02, when they won at No. 69 Penn State (5-2) on March 4 and took at 4-3 win at No. 75 Virginia Tech on March 7...three wins over ranked teams this season is already the most since Houston also collected three ranked victories during the 2003-04 campaign...Houston improves to 3-1 vs. ranked teams this season and 2-1 in one-point decisions...UH snapped what was a perfect 5-0 home mark for Washington...Washington State and Washington were a combined 12-0 at home this season before the Cougars beat them both.
No. 64 Houston 4, No. 40 Washington 3
- #125 Despoina Vogasari (HOU) def. Elianne Douglas-Miron (UW) 6-3, 6-4
- Grace Ysidora (UW) def. #122 Elena Kordolaimi (HOU) 6-3, 6-3
- Julija, Lukac (UW) def. Celia Fraser (HOU) 7-6 (7-2), 6-2
- Maria Cardenas (HOU) def. Andjela, Nemcevic (UW) 6-2, 7-6 (7-4)
- Tina Rupert (HOU) def. Riko Shimizu (UW) 1-6, 6-4, 6-3
- Charlotte Phillips (HOU) def. Natali Coronel (UW) 6-0, 6-4
Order of Finish: 6,1,2,3,4,5*
- Elianne Douglas-Miro/Riko Shimizu (UW) def. Elena Kordolaimi/Despoina Vogasari (HOU) 8-2
- Natali Coronel/Grace Ysidora (UW) def. Maria Cardenas/Tina Rupert (HOU) 8-3
- Celia Fraser/Charlotte Phillips (HOU) def. Julija, Lukac/Andjela, Nemcevic (UW) 8-7 (7-0)
Order of Finish: 1,2,3