W. Tennis Dominates Singles to Top No. 23 Tulsa, 4-1
By Alex Schwartz
EVANSTON, Ill. – In a matchup of top-25 squads that reached the NCAA Team Championship Sweet 16 a season ago, the University of Miami women’s team logged a 4-1 victory over No. 23 Tulsa Saturday evening at the Combe Tennis Center.
After No. 17 Miami (4-0) dropped the doubles point, the second-seeded Hurricanes cruised to four straight-set singles decisions and opened ITA Kick-Off Weekend with an impressive victory over the third-seeded Golden Hurricane.
“This is the type of Miami tennis that we all want to be a part of,” Miami head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews said. “We fought hard today, competed intelligently and handled tough situations pretty well. Consistency is where teams are defined, so we need to bring it again tomorrow.”
Tulsa (5-2) got on the board first in doubles, as the nation’s fourth-ranked pair of Martina Okalova and Vera Ploner downed the No. 51-ranked duo of junior Yuna Ito and Ulyana Shirokova, 6-2.
Miami quickly answered, as freshman Daevenia Achong and junior Estela Perez-Somarriba defeated Martha Matoula and Shura Poppe, 6-2.
In the decisive match, Tulsa’s Marina Davtyan and Megan Hopton rallied from a 2-4 deficit to defeat freshman Carla Girbau and senior Ana Madcur, taking the last four games to earn a 6-4 win and clinch the doubles point.
The Hurricanes got off to a hot start in singles competition, winning each of the first four completed opening sets before losing the final two.
Achong was the first Miami player to earn a victory in singles, rolling to a 6-2, 6-2 decision against Poppe to even the score at one.
Approximately 15 minutes later, the Hurricanes moved within a game of victory on three courts and each ended within a span of four minutes.
First, Girbau finished up a 6-2, 6-4 win over Arianna Capogrosso by taking each of the final two games. Moments later, seventh-ranked Perez-Somarriba concluded her rally from a 3-5 second-set deficit with her fourth consecutive game to record a 6-1, 7-5 decision against Okalova.
Shirokova sealed the victory for the Hurricanes by taking a second-set tiebreaker against Hopton. The Ufa, Russia, native saw her 2-5 second-set lead turn into a 5-6 deficit, but she won the last two games to record a 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) decision and clinch the match.
When play stopped, Ito and Ploner were in the third set, while No. 82 Roldan and Matoula were still in the second. Ito trailed, 4-6, 6-1, 0-2, while Roldan was behind, 6-7 (6-8), 2-5.
The Hurricanes will play their second top-25 opponent in as many days Sunday at 3 p.m. ET when they meet No. 20 Northwestern on its home court. The winner advances to the elite ITA National Team Indoor Championship Presented by Oracle, held Feb. 8-11 in Seattle at the Seattle Tennis Club.
1. No. 4 Martina Okalova/Vera Ploner (TUL) def. No. 51 Yuna Ito/Ulyana Shirokova (UM), 6-2
2. Daevenia Achong/Estela Perez-Somarriba (UM) def. Martha Matoula/Shura Poppe (TUL), 6-2
3. Marina Davtyan/Megan Hopton (TUL) def. Carla Girbau/Ana Madcur (UM), 6-4
1. No. 7 Estela Perez-Somarriba (UM) def. Martina Okalova (TUL), 6-1, 7-5
2. Martha Matoula (TUL) vs. No. 82 Daniella Roldan (UM), 7-6 (8-6), 5-2, unf.
3. Daevenia Achong (UM) def. Shura Poppe (TUL), 6-2, 6-2
4. Vera Ploner (TUL) vs. Yuna Ito (UM), 6-4, 1-6, 2-0, unf.
5. Ulyana Shirokova (UM) def. Megan Hopton (TUL), 6-3, 7-6 (7-3)
6. Carla Girbau (UM) def. Arianna Capogrosso (TUL), 6-2, 6-4