May 15, 1999
ATHENS, Ga. - Close just wasn't quite good enough Saturday for the Washington State Cougar women's tennis team and the result was a 6-0 loss to Mississippi State in the first round of the NCAA tennis tournament at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on the Georgia campus.
Three of the six singles matches played went to a deciding third set before the Lady Bulldogs prevailed and the other three singles matches were won by MSU with second-set tiebreakers.
Mississippi State (9-10) pulled off its first ever win in NCAA tourney history in its first ever appearance, while the Cougars (9-11) ended their season the same way for the second straight year, a first round loss in the collegiate tourney.
"Mississippi State got the momentum early," Cougar coach Cari Groce commented. "We lost the first set in all six singles matches and then were back on our heels. That is a big deficit to fight back from."
Cougars Tamara Filopovic, Andrea Reisz and Sarah Burrows each forced their matches to a third set before falling to their Mississippi State opponents, while Erica Perkins, Patrycja Gajdzik and Melissa Pine each lost deciding 7-6 tiebreakers in their respective second sets.
Based on the most recent national rankings, the Cougars appeared to have the edge, entering competition ranked No. 33, while MSU was ranked No. 56.
The individual rankings also didn't hold up as WSU's Erica Perkins, No. 32, lost a second-set tiebreaker and fell to Ivana Belancic, No. 90, in the number one singles match that seemed to set the tone for all of the competition.
"I give Mississippi State credit, they came out ready to play and were determined and aggressive," Groce added. "We just didn't play as well as we are capable of playing. We got off to a slow start and they got off to a great start and kept the momentum."
"This is a very emotional win," MSU coach Tracy Lane said. "It's our first time to make it to the tournament and our first win over a Top-35 team this season, We've played some really close matches against some very highly ranked teams, most of them in the SEC. That says a lot about the strength of our conference. We knew Washington State was strong. The Pac-10 is traditionally a strong conference. But we started well on all six courts and we took care of business."
#56 Mississippi State 6 (9-10), #33 Washington State 0 (9-11)
1. Ivana Belancic, MSU def. Erica Perkins 6-3, 7-6 2. Amelie Detrivierc, MSU def. Patrycja Gajdzik 6-3, 7-6 3. Anca Vasiloaica, MSU def. Tamara Filopovic 6-0, 3-6, 6-1 4. Eimear Sloan, MSU def. Melissa Pine 6-3, 7-6 5. Andrea Lord, MSU def. Andrea Reisz 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 6. Linda Mattson, MSU def. Sarah Burrows 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 Doubles matches not played.#3 Georgia 5 (22-3), #73 Central Florida 0 (17-7)
1. Vanessa Castellano, UGA def. Maria Widyadharma 6-3, 6-1 2. Aarthi Venkatesan, UGA def. Gaelle Gouttefarde 6-2, 6-0 3. Marissa Catlin, UGA def. Ann-Jeanette Svantesson, 6-0, 6-0 4. Esther Knox, UGA def. Daniela Okal 6-1, 6-2 5. Jane Reid, UGA def. Andrea Reisz 6-3, 6-1 6. Christa Grey, UGA suspended vs. Hadas Ronen 6-4, 4-1Doubles matches not played.