Nov. 4, 2012
HOUSTON - The University of Houston Women's Tennis team wrapped up fall tournament play on a high note, as Maja Kazimieruk and Celia Fraser both claimed singles flight titles on the final day of the Tennis Express Houston Open at John E. Hoff Courts on Sunday.
"This was a very solid weekend for our team, particularly at the end where it felt like a dual match going up against Rice on three courts in a row and competing well against a team that made the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament last year, head coach Patrick Sullivan said.
"Congratulations to Celia and Maja on their first singles tournament titles this fall and even where we came up short today, I was very pleased with the attitude and effort."
Kazimieruk, a senior from Poznan, Poland, started the day by continuing a match from Saturday, outlasting Texas State's Rachel Baldree by a score of 6-4, 4-6, 10-5 to advance to the finals. From there, Kazimieruk cruised to a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Texas State's Monica Pieratt.
After a back-and-forth fall season, Kazimieruk ended on a tear with three straight wins to finish 7-5 and claim a flight title for the second straight season at the home tournament.
Fraser entered Sunday's finals having defeated tough opponents from Oregon and Denver, and faced another one in Rice's Stephanie Nguyen. The junior from Birmingham, U.K., served for the first-set win on two occasions before falling in the tiebreaker, but managed to settle in and cruise the rest of the way for a 6-7(6), 6-2, 10-2 victory to claim her first singles title of the season.
Kordolaimi met Rice's Dominique Harmath in the finals, where she held a 5-2 advantage in the first set before eventually falling by a score of 7-5, 6-3 to wrap up a successful fall campaign where the Lamia, Greece, native won seven of 10 matches.
Charlotte Phillips opened the afternoon by rallying past Texas State's Rachel Baldree in a gutsy 5-7, 7-6(4), 11-9 victory to move on to the singles consolation finals. There, Phillips met Rice's Liat Zimmerman beside teammates Fraser and Kordolaimi, where she ran out of steam in a 6-2, 6-3 loss.
"Rebuilding a program and changing the culture is a process and it doesn't happen overnight, but I am very pleased with how far we've come since August," Sullivan said. "It's hard to believe that we have as much time from now until the beginning of our spring season as has passed since the first day of school, but I have challenged the team to continue to improve and work just as hard as we have since August while other teams are relaxing and stagnant. If we can do that, I think we have the chance to have a very special season this spring."
The Cougars return to action on Jan. 15 for the start of the 2013 spring slate against Stephen F. Austin at Hoff Courts.
Akeem Olajuwon Singles Flight Finals
Dominique Harmath (Rice) def. Elena Kordolaimi (UH), 7-5, 6-3
Tom Landry Singles Consolation Flight Semifinals
Charlotte Phillips (UH) def. Rachel Baldree (TXST), 5-7, 7-6(4), 11-9
Tom Landry Singles Consolation Flight Finals
Liat Zimmerman (Rice) def. Charlotte Phillips (UH), 6-2, 6-3
Randy Quaid Singles Flight Finals
Celia Fraser (UH) def. Stephanie Nguyen (Rice), 6-7(6), 6-2, 10-2
Kenny Rogers Singles Flight Quarterfinals
Katy Collins (TXST) def. Liselot Koenen (UH), 7-6(3), 7-5
Fred Couples Singles Flight Semifinals
Maja Kazimieruk (UH) def. Rita Bermudez (Idaho), 6-4, 4-6, 10-5
Fred Couples Singles Flight Finals
Maja Kazimieruk (UH) def. Monica Pieratt (TXST), 6-1, 6-2
Leroy Burrell Singles Flight Semifinals
Alessandra Pennesi (Lamar) def. Jo Garvey (UH), 6-1, 6-1
Clyde Drexler Singles Consolation Flight Semifinals
Francesca Bernes (TXST) def. Gabriella Jansson (UH), 2-6, 6-2, 10-4