May 23, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. - Auburn junior Emily Flickinger and sophomore Pleun Burgmans made program history on Friday, becoming the first doubles team in school history to advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Women's Tennis Championships, posting a 7-5, 7-5 victory over Southern California's No. 16-ranked duo of Brynn Boren and Zoe Katz.
The victory locks up an All-America selection for both players and gave Burgmans/Flickinger a berth in the quarterfinals where they will take North Carolina's third-ranked pair of Hayley Carter and Jamie Loeb at 5 p.m. Saturday. Burgmans and Flickinger also became the fourth and fifth player in Auburn history to earn an individual All-America honor, the first since 2009.
"This match was all about who could stay mentally tough and aggressive at the right time and when it really counted," Auburn head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner said. "This was a tough USC team. When we got a big lead they battled back and we had to mentally dig in and fight for each set."
In both sets, Burgmans and Flickinger jumped out to early leads over USC's Boren and Katz. Auburn's 15th-ranked duo led 5-2 early in the first set in part to strong play in the return game, execution at the net and converting break point chances. Boren/Katz rallied back to tie at 5-5, but Burgmans held her serve and in the next game Flickinger dropped in a backhand winner on the line to take the first set over the Trojans.
"I think a big key for us was continuing to execute our game plan and not venturing too far off from what that was even in tight situations," Meisner said. "We needed to counterpunch their aggression and not back off the net. I also think our return game in key points put us over the edge."
Burgmans and Flickinger jumped out to a 5-3 lead in the second set, but USC's duo once again fought back to tie it at 5-all. Auburn's tandem regrouped and won the next two games to conclude the match, earning the berth to the quarterfinals.
"We're very proud of these two ladies; they are my first doubles All-Americans in my coaching career. We want to continue this play and see how far we can get in this tournament," Meisner said.
For more coverage of the NCAA Championships, check out NCAA.com for live scoring and video.
2014 NCAA Women's Tennis Championships
May 23, 2014
Dan Magill Tennis Complex - Athens, Ga.
Doubles - Round of 16
#15 Pleun Burgmans/Emily Flickinger (AU) def. #16 Brynn Boren/Zoe Katz (USC) 7-5, 7-5