The No. 27 TCU women’s tennis team claimed a thrilling 4-3 decision against No. 30 Texas in the consolation round of the 2010 ITA National Indoor Qualifier at the Goodfriend Tennis Center. Sophomore Gaby Mastromarino clinched the victory in the final match.
“We played a long match and fought really hard all of the way through,” TCU head coach Jefferson Hammond said. “Everybody gave a full effort from start to finish and five hours later we ended up pulling it out. Everybody contributed and it was a team win through and through.”
“It was three all and Gaby really buckled down and focused to pull out a great win under a tremendous amount of pressure,” Hammond said. “I’m very of her performance and how smoothly she played. It was a great win for the Horned Frogs.”
For the second day in a row, TCU took an early 1-0 lead after winning the doubles point. After Mastromarino and junior Idunn Hertzberg picked up the initial tally with an 8-6 win over Texas’ Sarah Lancaster and Caroline Larsson, senior Nina Munch-Soegaard and sophomore Kayla Duncan sealed the doubles advantage with a 9-7 defeat of No. 27 Amanda Craddock and Krista Damico.
Texas rebounded and came out fighting in singles action, taking the first set on all four courts. The Longhorns forced the team score to 1-1 after Munch-Soegaard battled in her second set to force a tie-breaker, only to fall to No. 22 Aeriel Ellis, 6-3, 7-6 (5). Hertzberg followed by winning her second-set tie-breaker against Craddock and dismantling her in the third frame to claim the win, 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-1.
With the Frogs up in the match, 2-1, Duncan pushed the advantage to 3-1 with a three-set win over No. 27 Damico from the No. 2 court. After dropping the first set, the Winston-Salem, N.C., native pushed through to take the match, 1-6, 6-2, 6-4.
“Kayla and Idunn gutted out a pair of three-set matches in strong fashion today,” Hammond said. “Both matches could have gone either way and they just kept fighting.”
With the team score at 3-1 in favor of TCU, junior Katariina Tuohimaa forced her match with No. 59 Vanja Corovic into a third set tie-breaker, only to fall short in the match, 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (5). Junior Maria Babanova would soon drop her match to Larsson in straight-sets to tie the match at 3-3.
As Babanova dropped her match, Mastromarino was heading into her first set tie-breaker with Lancaster on the final court. With the weight of the match on her shoulders, the sophomore from Tequesta, Fla., fell early in the tie-break, 4-2, only to battle back to win the next five points and save the opening set, 7-6 (4). Despite falling behind Lancaster in the second stanza, 3-4, Mastromarino kept her composure and focus to earn the win, 7-6 (4), 6-4.
“This was a huge win for us,” Mastromarino said. “After the loss yesterday, I really thought a win today would get us going in the right direction. I felt like we all gave it our all today and because it was such a close match, I think we will be able to handle that kind of pressure this season.”
TCU will return to open the home schedule on Feb. 5, hosting Stanford at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center. First serve is set for Noon and admission is free.
Texas resumes play on Saturday, Feb. 6 when it hosts Stanford at UT’s Penick-Allison Tennis Center. First serve is set for noon Central.
ITA Kick-Off Weekend
#27 TCU 4, #30 Texas 3
Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center – Knoxville, Tenn.
Doubles – Order of Finish: 3, 1
1 Kayla Duncan/Nina Munch-Soegaard (TCU) def. #27 Craddock/Damico (UT) – 9-7
2 Katariina Tuohimaa/Maria Babanova (TCU) vs. Corovic/Ellis (UT) – 8-7, susp.
3 Gaby Mastromarino/Idunn Hertzberg (TCU) def. Lancaster/Larsson (UT) – 8-6
Singles – Order of Finish: 1, 4, 2, 3, 5, 6 – time 5:38
1 #22 Aeriel Ellis (UT) def. Nina Munch-Soegaard (TCU) – 6-3, 7-6 (5)
2 #67 Kayla Duncan (TCU) def. #27 Krista Damico (UT) – 1-6, 6-2, 6-4
3 #59 Vanja Corovic (UT) def. Katariina Tuohimaa (TCU) – 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (5)
4 Idunn Hertzberg (TCU) def. Amanda Craddock (UT) – 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-1
5 Caroline Larsson (UT) def. Maria Babanova (TCU) – 6-1, 7-6 (4)
6 Gaby Mastromarino (TCU) def. Sarah Lancaster (UT) – 7-6 (4), 6-4