April 18, 2014
TAMPA, Fla.--- The Cougars showed the rest of the conference why they were awarded the top seed coming into this tournament, as they dismantled eighth-seeded Cincinnati, 4-0, in the quarterfinal round of the inaugural American Athletic Conference Championship Tournament on Friday.
Houston (20-4) will move on to play fifth-seeded Rutgers (16-4) tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. CT in the event’s semifinal round, after the Scarlet Knights pulled off a 4-3 upset win over No. 4 seed Louisville earlier in the day.
For the Cougars, the win marks their first conference tournament victory since 2012, while the 20 total wins on the season notches Houston’s first 20-plus win season since 2006, and just the program’s fifth 20-plus win campaign all-time. UH has now also won five straight matches and shutout out a school-record four consecutive opponents. The five-match win streak is the program’s longest since the 2012 spring campaign.
“It was a bit of a slow start in doubles play, but we finished strong and really took care of business efficiently in singles action against a Cincinnati team that competed well,” said head coach Patrick Sullivan. “We’re looking forward to tomorrow’s matchup against Rutgers.”
“We were disappointed with last year’s result against them up in New Jersey and will be better prepared for them this time around.”
The Cougars got it going early, as Maria Cardenas and Tina Rupert notched their ninth win as a doubles tandem this year, defeating Kelly Poggensee-Wei and Caitlin O’Gara 8-4 on court two, before Despoina Vogasari and Elena Kordolaimi clinched the doubles point for UH with an 8-4 victory on their own on court one.
Rocio Martin and Charlotte Phillips also turned in an 8-4 doubles win on court three.
For the second straight match it was Phillips (18-8, 10-6 Dual) who began the scoring in singles action, as she took care of business on court six, defeating Hannah Wille 6-2, 6-0 for her second consecutive victory.
With Houston up 2-0, Cardenas (21-10, 15-7 Dual) was able to put the pressure on, as she took down O’Gara in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1 on court four, to put the Cougars on the brink of victory, up 3-0.
Then it was Vogasari (24-6, 20-3 Dual) who put things away for UH, as she earned a convincing 6-2, 6-3 victory over Poggensee-Wei from the No. 1 spot to clinch the 4-0 victory for the Cougars.
The win puts Vogasari in a tie for ninth place on the school’s all-time single-season dual match victories list. She’s now just one win away from being tied for fifth on the list, while the next win will also equal the program’s all-time freshman dual match victories mark.
Due to tournament rules the match was stopped after Houston clinched the victory.
Houston will get back after it tomorrow against fifth-seeded Rutgers, at 11:00 a.m. CT out at the Varsity Tennis Courts on the campus of the University of South Florida, as the Cougars will try and advance to the inaugural American Athletic Conference Tournament Championship match.
Match Notes: Houston improves to 4-1 all-time against Cincinnati, while also improving to 3-1 all-time in conference tournament matches vs. the Bearcats…Houston was just one of two teams to record a shutout on day two of the tournament.
No. 1 Houston 4, No. 8 Cincinnati 0
- #95 Despoina Vogasari (HOU) def. Kelly Poggensee-Wei (CINCI) 6-2, 6-3
- Elena Kordolaimi (HOU) vs. Ashleigh Witte (CINCI) unfinished
- Tina Rupert (HOU) vs. Caitlin O'Gara (CINCI) unfinished
- Maria Cardenas (HOU) def. Katya Bure (CINCI) 6-2, 6-1
- Rocio Martin (HOU) vs. Lauren Bellinger (CINCI) unfinished
- Charlotte Phillips (HOU) def. Hannah Wille (CINCI) 6-2, 6-0
Order of Finish: 6,4,1*
- Despoina Vogasari/Elena Kordolaimi (HOU) def. Kelly Poggensee-Wei/Caitlin O'Gara (CINCI) 8-4
- Maria Cardenas/Tina Rupert (HOU) def. Ashleigh Witte/Lauren Bellinger (CINCI) 8-4
- Rocio Martin/Charlotte Phillips (HOU) def. Katya Bure/Carly Wilson (CINCI) 8-4
Order of Finish: 2,1,3