PULLMAN, Wash. – The University of Utah captured the opening doubles point and that proved to be the difference as 44th-ranked Utah defeated No. 53 Washington State 4-2 Saturday in a Pac-12 Conference tennis match.
With the loss the Cougars fall to 13-3 (1-1 in Pac-12 play) while Utah improves to 8-2 (2-0).
In doubles action all three matches were tightly contested. At No. 1, the Utah duo of Tereza Bekerova and Paige Miles saved two match points before eventually prevailing 10-8 in the tiebreaker over Elizaveta Luzina and Lize Leenknecht. The match at No. 2 also went to a tiebreaker where Sarah Richter and Luisa Gerstner da Rosa came away with the 8-7 (7-3) victory, securing the doubles point for the Utes. At No. 3, the match between WSU’s duo of Charlotte Koning and Dajana Ognjenovic and Utah’s Callie Craig and Sarah Pham was 6-6 when the match was stopped.
Much like doubles play, the first four singles matches were back and forth. At No. 4 Musilovich was first off as she defeated Richter, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, evening the match at 1-1. After dropping the first set, Biryukova stormed back to force a third at No. 2. After saving two match points, she could not save as third as Pham escaped with the 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 victory.
Leenknecht knotted the score at 2-2 as she rallied from a set down to win 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 at No. 3, the fourth time this season she has won after dropping the first set. At No. 1 singles, Luzina and Bekerova battled for more than 2 ½ hours trading groundstrokes before the Bekerova prevailed with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 win, giving Utah a 3-2 advantage.
Utah was able to clinch the match at No. 5 when Miles posted a straight-set win over Ognjenovic, 6-3, 6-2. With the team outcome decided, the No. 6 singles match was abandoned with Koning leading da Rosa 6-2.
The Cougars return to the court Tuesday when they host Eastern Washington and then Lewis-Clark State at the Simmelink Tennis Courts at Hollingbery Fieldhouse. Match time begins at 2 p.m.
WASHINGTON STATE TENNIS
No. 44 Utah 4 def. #53 Washington State 2
March 8, 2014
No. 1 Tereza Bekerova/Paige Miles (UU) def. Elizaveta Luzina/Lize Leenknecht (WSU) 8-7 (10-8)
No. 2 Sarah Richter/Luisa Gerstner da Rosa (UU) def. Maria Biryukova/Olga Musilovich (WSU) 8-7 (7-3)
No. 3 Charlotte Koning/Dajana Ognjenovic (WSU) vs. Callie Craig/Sarah Pham (UU) 6-6 DNF
Order of Finish: 1,2
No. 1 Tereza Bekerova (UU) def. No. 116 Elizaveta Luzina (WSU) 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
No. 2 Sarah Pham (UU) def. Maria Biryukova (WSU) 6-2, 2-6, 7-5
No. 3 Lize Leenknecht (WSU) def. Callie Craig (UU) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
No. 4 Musilovich (WSU) def. Sarah Richter (UU) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
No. 5 Paige Miles (UU) def. Dajana Ognjenovic (WSU), 6-3, 6-2
No. 6 Charlotte Koning (WSU) vs. Luisa Gerstner da Rosa (UU) 6-2, 0-0
Order of Finish: 4,2,3,1,5