TCU Into MW Championship Match For Fourth-Straight Year

April 28, 2012

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SAN DIEGO – TCU’s women’s tennis team knocked off Wyoming, 4-1, on Saturday in the Mountain West Women’s Tennis Championship semifinals at San Diego State’s Aztec Tennis Center.

With the win, the 38th-ranked and top-seeded Horned Frogs improved to 17-5 on the year and advanced to the championship match for the fourth-straight year. No. 62-ranked Wyoming fell to 14-9 on the year. Additionally, TCU coach Dave Borelli advanced to his fifth-straight MW title as men's and women's coach.

“I thought it was a very hard fought battle,” TCU coach Dave Borelli said. “I don’t know how we won the doubles. It’s a real testament to the kids. Having the men’s team cheering for the girls really made a difference.”

TCU won the doubles point in thrilling fashion with wins at Nos. 2 and 3 doubles. Federica Denti and Kelsey Sundaram were first to win for the Frogs, an 8-3 decision over Szandi Kovacs and Sasa Nemcova at No. 2 doubles.

On court No. 3, the Frog tandem of Gaby Mastromarino and Simona Parajova fell behind 2-4 early in the eight-game pro set. After a service-game win made it 5-6, the TCU pair picked up broke Jessica Parizher and Silviya Zhelyzkova’s serve twice to grab an 8-6 win and give TCU a 1-0 lead.

The match at No. 1 doubles, which was called to a halt after the win at No. 3, was equally as thrilling. No. 51 Veronica Popovici and Simona Synkova of Wyoming jumped out to a 5-0 lead, but TCU’s No. 49-ranked duo of Millie Nichols and Olivia Smith had evened the match at 6 games apiece.

No. 119-ranked Parajova stretched the Frog advantage to 2-0 when she took down Synkova, 6-1, 6-3 at No. 2 doubles. The freshman who was recently named All-Mountain West avenged an earlier three-set defeat by Synkova.

Stefanie Tan, the nation’s No. 78-ranked singles player, wasted no time making it 3-0 in favor of TCU with a 6-4, 6-1 downing of Popovici at No. 1 singles. The Mountain West Freshman of the Year, Tan improved to 13-8 this spring.

Shortly at the conclusion of Tan’s match, senior Mastromarino put TCU back into the championship match when she polished off a 6-1, 6-1 triumph over Silviya Zhelyzkova on the sixth singles court.

All remaining matches were unfinished upon the match being clinched, including Nichols’, who was leading 7-6 (2), 5-0. Denti’s match was in a third set and Smith led 5-4 in the second after dropping the first set.

TCU faces No. 3-seeded San Diego State in Sunday’s championship match. First serve is set for 4 p.m. CDT. In five previous appearances in the Mountain West Women’ Tennis Championship finals, TCU is 3-2. In the regular season meeting between the Frogs and the host school, TCU was a 5-2 winner.

MATCH RESULTS – No. 1 TCU 4, No. 4 Wyoming 0
No. 1 – #78 Stefanie Tan (TCU) def. Veronica Popovici (Wyoming), 6-4, 6-1
No. 2 – #119 Simona Parajova (TCU) def. Simona Synkova (Wyoming), 6-1, 6-3
No. 3 – Olivia Smith (TCU) vs. Szandi Kovacs (Wyoming), 1-6, 5-4, unfinished
No. 4 – Millie Nichols (TCU) vs. Sasha Nemcova (Wyoming), 7-6 (2), 5-0, unfinished
No. 5 – Federica Denti (TCU) vs. Jessica Parizher (Wyoming), 6-3, 1-6, 1-2, unfinished
No. 6 – Gaby Mastromarino (TCU) def. Silviya Zhelyzkova (Wyoming), 6-1, 6-1

No. 1 – #49 Millie Nichols/Olivia Smith (TCU) vs. #51 Veronica Popovici/Simona Synkova (Wyoming), 6-6, unfinished
No. 2 – Federica Denti/Kelsey Sundaram (TCU) def. Szandi Kovacs/Sasa Nemvoca (Wyoming), 8-3
No. 3 – Gaby Mastromarino/Simona Parajova (TCU) def. Jessica Parizher/Silviya Zhelyzkova (Wyoming), 8-6

(1) TCU 17-5; National ranking #32
(4) Wyoming 14-9; National ranking #62
Order of finish: Singles (2,6,1,U,U,U); Doubles (2,3,U)
Weather: 81F, sunny
TCU advances to Sunday’s championship match against No. 3-seeded San Diego State