April 14, 2013
HOUSTON - The University of Houston women's tennis team fell short in a 4-2 decision to No. 49 Arkansas on Sunday afternoon at John E. Hoff courts. The Cougars dropped to 12-10 overall this season with one regular-season match remaining.
Houston played Sunday's match short handed, as two of the top three singles players were game-time scratches due to illness, yet the Cougars still managed to make the match against the 49th-ranked Razorbacks interesting.
"We have had some bad luck with illness the last few weeks and it's a shame we could not field our full team," head coach Patrick Sullivan said, "but I could not be more proud of them for not feeling sorry for themselves and instead stepping up and competing as well as we have all season.
"To be very honest, as far a competing goes, I inherited a soft team last summer but these very same players out on the court today fought hard wire-to-wire with a very tough SEC team," Sullivan continued. "I love coaching these girls. I'm proud of them and very excited about our future."
With five Cougars competing at two spots higher than their usual position, Arkansas jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead with victories at the No. 4 and No. 5 positions.
Sophomore Elena Kordolaimi put the Cougars on the board with a convincing 6-2, 6-1 win over Arkansas' Segou Jonker to improve to 11-10 at the No. 1 position this spring.
After a Houston loss at the No. 6 spot, senior Maja Kazimieruk registered a 6-2, 6-3 defeat of Sarah McLean in just her second match of the season at the No. 2 position to improve to a team-best 17-3 mark this season and a perfect 10-0 record in the city of Houston.
"Maja continues to be an absolute machine, playing with a fire and pride that I have rarely seen in my entire coaching career," Sullivan said. "The SEC is by far the meanest league in the country and when I tell you the Arkansas coaches were taken aback by Maja's toughness, that's quite a statement."
With Houston trailing 3-2 and looking to force a doubles portion for the decisive point, sophomore Charlotte Phillips fought to tie her match at 5-5 in the second set before dropping the final two games for a 6-2, 7-5 loss as Arkansas' Brittany Huxley clinched the match for the Razorbacks.
"Elena played her most complete match of the season and kept focus and composure from start to finish, which is something we have been working hard on," Sullivan said. "Charlotte bounced back from a poor first set and really made it exciting. She continues to make great progress and has really turned a corner as far as competing correctly when the going gets tough. Even on the courts where the scores were not as close, I was pleased with our effort and we did some nice things."
The Cougars will close out the regular season at 4 p.m., on Monday against Prairie View A&M at Hoff Courts. Seniors Maja Kazimieruk and Bryony Hunter will be recognized prior to the final regular-season home matches.
To follow live stats of Monday's match, click here.
#49 Arkansas 4, Houston 2
1. Elena Kordolaimi (UH) def. Segou Jonker (Ark), 6-2, 6-1
2. Maja Kazimieruk (UH) def. Sarah McLean (Ark), 6-2, 6-3
3. Brittany Huxley (Ark) def. Charlotte Phillips (UH), 6-2, 7-5
4. Kimberley Ann-Surin (Ark) def. Dionne Sanders (UH), 6-2, 6-1
5. Ana Lorena Belmar Hernandez (Ark) def. Jo Garvey (UH), 6-0, 6-2
6. Flavia Araujo (Ark) def. Gabriella Jansson (UH), 6-3, 6-2
Order of Finish: 5,4,1,6,2,3*