April 22, 2010
TULSA, Okla. - The 2010 season came to a close for the University of Houston tennis team Thursday as it suffered a 4-0 defeat at the hands of East Carolina in the opening round of the Conference USA Women's Tennis Championship at the Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla. Houston ended the season with an 11-8 overall record.
The No. 10 seed Cougars got off to a slow start in the match as they dropped the doubles point to begin play. At the No. 1 slot, freshman Bryony Hunter and Elena Kazakova fell to ECU's Jessica Cook and Audrey LePottier 8-5. UH's No. 2 tandem of junior Joanna Kazprzyk and senior Neila Starratt also could not complete the win, losing 8-3.
Houston's Maja Kazimieruk and Laura Ring were leading 7-6 during play of the No. 3 doubles match, but the match-up was called after ECU notched victories in the first two matches to earn the first team point of the day.
During singles play, the Cougars again could not find their rhythm, losing three consecutive straight-set matches to seal the win for the seventh-seeded Pirates, who improved to 18-9 on the year.
Hunter lost just her sixth match of the singles season, falling in the No. 1 singles position to Jessica Cook 6-3, 6-0. ECU also completed wins at the No. 4 match, where Kazimieruk fell to Audrey LePottier 6-2, 6-4, and in the No. 5 match, where ECU's Yilian Zhang knocked off Kazakova 6-2, 6-3.
The Cougars had also dropped the first set of the No. 2 and No. 3 singles matches, where Kacprzyk and Ring were battling to even their contests when the match was decided.
Senior Neila Starratt was the only Cougar on the day to win a set in singles play, claiming a 6-2 first-set win and leading 4-3 in the second set of the unfinished No. 6 singles match.