UNLV Downs Falcons, 4-3, in Season Finale
April 21, 2013
The Air Force women’s tennis team lost a heartbreaking 4-3 decision to 61st-ranked UNLV Sunday in the 2013 regular-season finale played at the CSU Tennis Center in Fort Collins, Colo. With the victory, the Rebels improved to 16-7 overall and 6-2 in the Mountain West, while the Falcons fell to 13-10 overall and 2-6 in league play.
The Falcons jumped out to an early 1-0 lead by sweeping the three doubles matches despite falling behind 3-0 in each match. Sophomores Tiffany Tran and Marcelli Magday were first off the court with a 9-8 victory over Iren Kotseva and Ella Bourchier at the No. 3 position, winning the tiebreak 7-3. Senior Christine Molina and sophomore Natasha Rizvi clinched the point with an 8-6 win at No. 2 over Janine Erasmus and Aleksandra Josifoska. Seniors Melissa Cecil and Hannah Dake won the No. 1 match 8-6 over Lucia Batta and Nives Pavlovic.
In singles play, UNLV took a 3-1 lead by winning the first three matches off the court. Josifoska, ranked 37th in the nation, downed Molina at the No. 1 position, 6-0, 6-0, Batta, ranked 82nd, defeated Tran, 6-3, 6-2, at No. 2. The third Rebel point came at No. 6 where Kotseva blanked junior Anastasia Hueffner, 6-0, 6-0.
The Falcons fought back as Dake rallied from a set and 5-2 down to beat Pavlovic, 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-3 at the No. 3 spot, but Bourchier clinched the match for UNLV by coming back from 4-2 down in the third set to beat freshman Mary Meyers 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 at No. 5. Rizvi won her second match at No. 4 in as many days, beating Erasmus, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in the final match.
“Yesterday we played well enough to win against the team in the conference (San Diego State),” said Air Force head coach Kim Gidley. “With a few minor adjustments our team came to play and we gave ourselves an opportunity to beat the second best team in the conference. I could not be prouder of the team today and the fight and effort they put forth. We have played some of our best tennis to date this weekend and this is where we want to be heading into the conference tournament next weekend at home.”
The two teams will play again next Friday, April 26 in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Mountain West Championships, hosted by the Academy. The second-seeded Rebels and seventh-seeded Falcons will begin at 2 p.m.
No. 61 UNLV 4, Air Force 3
April 21, 2013
Fort Collins, Colo.
1. Dake / Melissa Cecil (AF) def. Batta / Pavlovic, 8-6
2. Molina / Rizvi (AF) def. Erasmus / Josifoska, 8-6
3. Tran / Marcelli Magday (AF) def. Kotseva / Bourchier, 9-8(3)
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1
1. #37 Aleksandra Josifoska (UNLV) def. Christine Molina, 6-0, 6-0
2. #82 Lucia Batta (UNLV) def. Tiffany Tran, 6-3, 6-2
3. Hannah Dake (AF) def. Nives Pavlovic, 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-3
4. Natasha Rizvi (AF) def. Janine Erasmus, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
5. Ella Bourchier (UNLV) def. Mary Meyers, 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4
6. Iren Kotseva (UNLV) def. Anastasia Hueffner, 6-0, 6-0
Order: 1, 6, 2, 3, 5, 4