Women’s Tennis Results:
(1) Youngstown State 4, (4) UIC 1 | (2) Detroit 4, (3) Cleveland State 3
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Youngstown State earned the opportunity to defend its Horizon League women’s tennis title, while Detroit went deep into the night to earn its first trip since 2010 on Saturday at the Schwartz Tennis Center.
The No. 1 seed, Youngstown State held off UIC, 4-1, in the early evening before Detroit outlasted No. 3 Cleveland State, 4-3, in a match that lasted over four hours.
In the early match, YSU won the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 3 before singles wins by Dominika Lackova, Annina Brendel and Sofia Macias Mendoza clinched the win over the Flames. The win helped the Penguins extend their school record winning streak to 10 and the 16 wins tied a school mark set in 1998-99.
At No. 1 doubles, Marta Burak and Julianna Heino clinched the point with a 6-4 win over Keti Mebuke and Oana Manole. The Guins won the first completed doubles match as Lackova and Macias Mendoza won 6-1 in a match against Melika LeBlanc and Bianca Zuzu.
The Flames evened the match early in singles, gaining the first point at No. 5 as Zuzu recorded a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Heino.
However, the Guins quickly were able to reclaim the lead and control of the match.
At No. 3, Brendel finished a 7-6, 6-0 victory over Manole followed quickly by a 7-6, 6-2 win at No. 2 by Lackova over Jackie Altansarnai.
The clinching match was at No. 6 as Macias Mendoza overcame a first set loss to beat LeBlanc 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Cleveland State and Detroit was a tense affair from the start, with both doubles and singles coming down to a single court.
Aleksandra Golawska and Jana Schober quickly gave the Vikings the advantage with a 6-1 win at No. 2 doubles, but Valeryia Kulikovskaya and Sasha Nionova brought Detroit level after a 7-5 victory at No. 3.
With all attention on No. 1 doubles, Ellen Folkers and Victoria Bensimon rallied from an early 2-0 hole to grab a 7-5 victory and lift the Vikings to the lead heading into singles.
Singles play was no less dramatic, as the teams split the first six matches to bring the focus on the match at No. 6 between Jana Schober and Nynke Van Der Goot, a late sub for Detroit.
The marathon match started innocently enough, with Nino Sujashvili’s straight-set win at No. 5, 6-4, 6-2, to knot the match. Anna Davydova followed in short order at No. 3, 6-4, 6-4, to put the Titans ahead, 2-1.
Cleveland State took the next two points to reach the precipice of victory, with Golawska rebounding for a 1-6, 6-2, 6-2 win ahead of Folkers’ 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 triumph at No. 2.
At No. 1, Sasha Nionova outlasted Mathilde Orange, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-4, evening the match and setting the stage for the battle at the baselines between Schober and Van Der Goot.
Sticking mainly to the baselines, the pair engaged in a test of each other’s patience, with Van Der Goot overcoming a 5-3 second set deficit to rally for a 7-5 win and force the match into a decisive third set.
At 3-3, both players began trading breaks, with Schober and Van Der Goot each claiming a pair to push the match to 5-5. Van Der Goot became the first player to hold service in four games, winning the deuce point to take a 6-5 edge. Falling behind 0-30, Schober took the next four points to push the match to a decisive tie-break.
In the tie-break, Schober battled back to knot the breaker at 5, but Van Der Goot gained the first match point of the night and capitalized, setting off a wild – if not exhausted – celebration at 1:23 am ET.
Into its first Horizon League women’s championship since 2010, the Titans will meet the Penguins at 3 pm ET for the conference’s automatic NCAA Tournament bid. The match will be carried on ESPN3 and internationally via the Horizon League Network.
Horizon League Women’s Tennis Championship Semifinal Results
(1) Youngstown State 4, (4) UIC 1
1. Marta Burak/Julianna Heino (Youngstown State) vs. Keti Mebuke/Oana Manole (UIC) – YSU, 6-4
2. Annina Brendel/Nehel Sahni (Youngstown State) vs. Jacki Altansarnai/Ann-Sophie Hahn (UIC) – UIC led, 5-4 unfinished
3. Dominika Lackova/Sofia Macias (Youngstown State) vs. Bianca Zuzu/Melika LeBlanc (UIC) – YSU, 6-1
Order of finish: 3-1
1. Marta Burak (Youngstown State) vs. Keti Mebuke (UIC) – tied 6-3, 5-7, 2-2 unfinished
2. Dominika Lackova (Youngstown State ) vs. Jackie Altansarnai (UIC) – YSU, 7-6(6), 6-2
3. Annina Brendel (Youngstown State) vs. Oana Manole (UIC) – YSU, 7-6(2), 6-0
4. Nehel Sahni (Youngstown State) vs. Ann-Sophie Hahn (UIC) – YSU led, 5-7, 6-2, 2-0 unfinished
5. Julianna Heino (Youngstown State) vs. Bianca Zuzu (UIC) – UIC, 6-4, 6-3
6. Sofia Macias (Youngstown State) vs. Melika LeBlanc (UIC) – YSU 2-6, 6-3, 6-3
Order of finish: 5-3-2-6
(2) Detroit 4, (3) Cleveland State 3
1. Irina Slizoskaya/Anna Davydova (Detroit) vs. Ellen Folkers/Victoria Bensimon (CSU) – CSU, 7-5
2. Viktoria Laskutova/Nino Sujashvili (Detroit) vs. Aleksandra Golawska/Jana Schober (CSU) – CSU, 6-1
3. Valeryia Kulikovskaya/Sasha Nionova (Detroit) vs. Mathilde Orange/Princess Gbadamosi (CSU)– DET, 7-5
Order of finish: 2-3-1
1. Sasha Nionova (Detroit) vs. Mathilde Orange (CSU)– DET, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-4
2. Valeryia Kulikovskaya (Detroit) vs. Ellen Folkers (CSU) – CSU, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4
3. Anna Davydova (Detroit) vs. Victoria Bensimon (CSU) – DET, 6-4, 6-4
4. Irina Slizoskaya (Detroit) vs. Aleksandra Golawska (CSU) – CSU, 1-6, 6-2, 6-2
5. Nino Sujashvili (Detroit) vs. Princess Gbadamosi (CSU) – DET, 6-4, 6-2
6. Nynke Van Der Goot (Detroit) vs. Jana Schober (CSU) – DET, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(5)
Order of finish: 5-3-4-2-1-6