Horned Frogs Fall in NCAA Opening Round
May 11, 2012
DURHAM, N.C. – TCU’s women’s tennis team saw its season end Friday as it fell 4-1 to No. 30-ranked South Carolina in the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championships first round at Duke’s Ambler Tennis Stadium.
The 32nd-ranked Horned Frogs finished the season at 18-6 and won 11 of their last 12 matches. South Carolina improved to 16-8 and advanced to play the winner of Duke and Winthrop, who play later this afternoon.
South Carolina claimed the doubles point to open the match with wins at Nos. 3 and 2 doubles. At No. 3, USC’s Josefin Andersson and Katerina Popova dealt Gaby Mastromarino and Simona Parajova just their second defeat of the season, an 8-5 decision.
On the second doubles court, TCU’s tandem of Federica Denti and Kelsey Sundaram fell behind 4-0 to open the match and gained some momentum, but were not able to get closer than 5-2 before falling 8-4 to Anya Morgina and Dominika Kanakova.
The match at No. 1 doubles, which featured USC’s No. 38-ranked duo of Jaklin Alawi and Dijana Stojic, as well as TCU’s No. 42-ranked pair of Millie Nichols and Olivia Smith, was stopped at 7-6 at the completion of the other matches.
TCU picked up some early break points in singles and won three first sets, but was unable to mount a big charge against the Gamecocks, whose singles lineup featured three of the nation’s top 88 players.
Stefanie Tan won the first set 6-1 at No. 1 singles, Parajova claimed a 7-6 (2) win at No. 2 singles and Nichols was a 6-2 first-set winner at No. 4, but only Nichols was able to equate her first set into a Frog victory after USC had pushed its advantage to 2-0.
Nichols controlled her match the entire way, picking up a 6-2, 6-2 win overall against Kanakova and made it 2-1 in favor of the Gamecocks. The sophomore from Amarillo, Texas closed the year at 15-7 overall, 10-5 during the spring and on a five-match winning streak.
South Carolina made it 3-1 with a win at No. 6 singles and the matches at Nos. 1, 2 and 5 went three sets, but the Gamecocks ultimately scored the fourth point when Popova dropped Denti, 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 at No. 5 singles.
TCU’s appearance in the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championships was its 14th all time and eighth in the last nine years. Nichols and Smith are set to compete in the NCAA doubles championship May 23 at Georgia.
MATCH RESULTS – No. 30 South Carolina 4, No. 32 TCU 1
No. 1 – #45 Anya Morgina (USC) vs. #87 Stefanie Tan (TCU), 1-6, 6-1, 5-2, unfinished
No. 2 – #88 Jaklin Alawi (USC) vs. Simona Parajova (TCU), 6-7 (2), 6-4, 2-0, unfinished
No. 3 – #72 Dijana Stojic (USC) def. Olivia Smith (TCU), 6-4, 6-4
No. 4 – Millie Nichols (TCU) def. Dominika Kanakova (USC), 6-2, 6-2
No. 5 – Katerina Popova (USC) def. Federica Denti (TCU), 6-1, 4-6, 6-1
No. 6 – Adriana Pereira (USC) def. Gaby Mastromarino (TCU), 7-5, 6-2
No. 1 – #38 Jaklin Alawi/Dijana Stojic (USC) vs. #42 Millie Nichols/Olivia Smith, 7-6, unfinished
No. 2 – Anya Morgina/Dominika Kanakova (USC) def. Federica Denti/Kelsey Sundaram (TCU), 8-4
No. 3 – Josefin Andersson/Katerina Popova (USC) def. Gaby Mastromarino/Simona Parajova (TCU), 8-5
South Carolina 16-8; National ranking #30
TCU 18-6; National ranking #32
Order of finish: Singles (3,4,6,5,U,U); Doubles (3,2,U)
Weather: 70F, sunny, light winds
NCAA Women’s Tennis Championships First Round