Cougars Stay Hot; Upend Dartmouth 4-3
March 28, 2014
HANOVER, N.H.--- It wasn’t easy, but as they’ve done so many times already this season, the Cougars came up with big points when they needed to, as they hung on to secure a come-from-behind, 4-3 win over Dartmouth, Friday evening out at the Boss Tennis Center.
For Houston (15-3), the win extends its win streak to a season-high equaling four straight victories, while it matches its best 18-match match start since the 2009 campaign. The Cougars also improve to 4-1 in one-point affairs this season and notch their fifth comeback victory of the season.
“Today was one of those matches where we didn’t have our best stuff, but I was impressed with the way the girls stepped up and did what they needed to do against a very tough Dartmouth team,” said head coach Patrick Sullivan. “I have a lot of respect for Coach Dallis and I could not have been more impressed with the character and determination of the Dartmouth team.”
“Those close results were legitimate. That team gave us all we could handle and we’re fortunate to get out of New Hampshire with a win.”
Dartmouth (4-6) came out of the gate ready to challenge for an upset, as it took the court one doubles matchup 8-2, before Charlotte Phillips and Rocio Martin responded to take their match on court three, 8-5.
Then in an epic battle on court two, Dartmouth’s Melissa Matsuoka and Akiko Okuda were just able to outlast Houston’s tandem of Tina Rupert and Maria Cardenas, 8-7(5), as the Cougars dropped the doubles point for just the second time in the last eight matches.
However, Houston didn’t trail for long, as the ever so reliable Tina Rupert came through as she usually does, taking her court four singles matchup in straight sets over Melissa Matsuoka, 6-3, 6-3, to quickly equalize things at 1-1, while notching her fourth straight victory.
The seesaw battle between the two sides continued, as the Big Green took the point on court five, but once again the Cougars responded, as Maria Cardenas cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Dartmouth’s Jacqueline Crawford to tie things back up at 2-2.
The Cougars then found the spark they needed, as Phillips came up big for the second time on the day, this time from the No. 6 singles position, earning a dominating 6-3, 6-3 win over Sarah Bessen to put UH on the brink of victory.
Fittingly, it was the reigning American Athletic Conference Player of the Week, Elena Kordolaimi who rallied on court two to clinch the match for Houston, defeating Taylor Ng, 0-6, 6-3, 6-3.
The Cougars led 4-2 before the Big Green managed to tack on another point to bring the match to the final of 4-3.
Houston will wrap up its east coast road swing when it heads down to Cambridge, Mass. to take on No. 50 Harvard, Sunday at 10:00 a.m. CT.
No. 27 Houston 4, Dartmouth 3
Order of Finish: 4,5,3,6,2*,1
Order of Finish: 1,3,2