Indiana Battles Past Boise State to Advance at NCAA Championships
May 11, 2007
EVANSTON, Ill. - No. 24 Indiana prevailed in a tight match against No. 43 Boise State in the opening round of the NCAA Women's Tennis Championships on Friday, May 11, picking up a 4-2 win to advance to the second round of the tournament for the first time since 1998.
With the teams tied at 2-2, sophomore Alba Berdala and senior Laura McGaffigan rallied from third-set deficits at Nos. 1 and 2 singles, respectively, to give Indiana (21-6) the thrilling win. McGaffigan clinched the win with a 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 6-4 decision over BSU's Polina Kokoulina.
The Hoosiers jumped out to a 1-0 lead by winning the doubles point. Sophomore Sigrid Fischer and senior Cecile Perton teamed at No. 2 doubles to take an 8-5 decision over the Broncos' tandem of Tatiana Ganzha and Kokoulina, while junior Brianna Williams and freshman Erin Clark followed suit with an 8-5 win of their own at No. 3 over Tiffany Coll and Klaudia Wlodarczyk.
At No. 1, Berdala and McGaffigan were deadlocked with Laura Baum and Jana Mackova at 6-6 when the match was abandoned.
In singles play, Williams quickly put Indiana up 2-0 by breezing past Wlodarczyk at No. 4, 6-0, 6-2.
Coll got Boise State (18-5) on the board with a win at No. 6, as she took a 6-4, 6-2 win over freshman Lindsey Stuckey. The Broncos tied the match at 2-2 with a win at No. 5, as Stacey Housley topped Perton in a close match, 7-5, 6-4.
Berdala got IU back on track with a win at No. 1, where she rallied to top Bianca Jochimsen, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. After dropping the first set, Berdala claimed the second one to force a third, and rattled off wins in three consecutive games to overcome a 4-3 deficit in the third to earn the win.
With the Hoosiers needing just one more point for the win, attention turned to No. 2 singles, where McGaffigan was locked in a duel with Kokoulina. After McGaffigan took the first set in a tiebreaker, 7-6 (7-5), Kokoulina grabbed a 6-3 win in the second set to force a third. Trailing 3-2 in the third set, McGaffigan rallied to win the next three games to take a 5-3 lead. Kokoulina won the next game to keep the pressure on, but McGaffigan clinched the Hoosiers' victory by winning the next game.
Fischer's contest against Mackova at No. 3 singles was abandoned with Fischer leading 1-0 in the third set. Mackova picked up a 6-4 win in the first set, but Fischer turned in a spectacular comeback to force a third, rallying from deficits of 5-3 and 6-5 in the second set to force a tiebreaker, which she won 10-8.
"It was back and forth for awhile," Indiana head coach Lin Loring said. "They had the momentum in the early singles matches and things were looking bleak for us. This match was a mirror image of our season; we won with a 3-pointer at the buzzer. The 4-2 score is deceiving, because we were a handful of points from losing 5-2, but the team found a way to win. We competed well and never gave up. We kept finding ways not to lose. Today was an ugly day; it was windy and we haven't played in conditions like that all season. This was a great effort by the team."
The win put Indiana into the second round of the NCAA Championships for the first time since 1998, when IU topped Purdue, 5-3, to advance.
The Hoosiers will face either No. 5 Northwestern or No. 63 Western Michigan on Saturday, May 12, at noon Central time. Indiana has faced both squads so far this season, topping Western Michigan 5-2 on Jan. 14, and falling to the Wildcats, the NCAA Regional Championship hosts, on April 8, 5-2.
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