Jan. 28, 2012
TROY, Ala. - Auburn women’s tennis opened its 2011 spring campaign on Saturday afternoon with a solid 5-2 win over Troy. The Tigers claimed the doubles point with wins a Nos. 2 and 3, and then used solid play in the middle of the singles lineup to close out the Trojans.
”Today was a good test for us to see where we stand,” said head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner. “We were a little sloppy at times, but we gutted it out and got the win and that is what is important. Now we can focus on the matches tomorrow, and we hope to have a loud crowd on hand for the home opener.”
The day began with doubles play and Auburn (1-0) gained the early advantage by taking the crucial doubles point. Court No. 3 finished first when the duo of Paulina Schippers and Plamena Kurteva downed Olfa Dhaoui and Roxy Ramirez-Vega, 8-3. The Tiger pair jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead, only to fall behind 2-3. On the changeover the juniors regrouped, found their form, and rallied to win the next six games and the match.
After Kasler and Pfiefler were downed at No. 1, 8-2, by Karoline Grymel and Lyuboy Dorofeeva, the Tigers were able to grab the point once Flickinger and Bennett won at No. 3, 8-3, over Samya El Hsissen and Candela Munoz Giron.
Flickinger and Bennett also had to battle back to win in their match. The tandem fell behind early 2-0, before gaining a slight 3-2 edge. After Troy (0-4) evened things up at 3-all, the Auburn team took control and won the final five games to clinch the doubles point.
In singles, Pfiefler bounced back from her rough doubles outing to make quick work of Dhaoui at No. 2, 6-2, 6-0. The freshman from Gulf Breeze, Fla., won the final 11 games of her match to push the Tiger lead to 2-0. In the process she claimed her first career collegiate dual match singles victory.
Troy closed the gap to 2-1 when Grymel downed Flickinger at No. 1, 6-3, 6-2.
Shortly after, Auburn claimed the final two points needed for the team win as Kasler and Kurteva finished victorious just minutes apart.
Kasler was steady all afternoon at the No. 5 line and used a series of overhead winners to close out Ramirez-Vega in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4.
Kurteva also ousted Munoz Giron in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2, to clinch the season opening win for her team.
In other singles action, Schippers battled through an ankle injury suffered early in the first set of her match and fell to Dorofeeva, 6-2, 6-1, while Bennett battled hard and after taking a grueling set in a tiebreaker 7-6 (7-2), she cruised to a 6-1 second set victory to close out the day.
The Tigers return to the court on Sunday when they host Alabama A&M and Southern Miss at the Yarbrough Tennis Center. The match with Alabama A&M is slated for 10:00 a.m., while the match with the Golden Eagles will begin at 2:00 p.m.
Admission is free to all Auburn home tennis matches, and live scoring is available through AuburnTigers.com. Fans can also follow @AUWomensTennis on Twitter for updates.
Auburn 5, Troy 2
1. Karoline Grymel/Lyubov Dorofeeva (TROY) def. Jen Pfiefler/Jacqueline Kasler (AU) 8-2
2. Paulina Schippers/Plamena Kurteva (AU) def. Olfa Dhaoui/Roxy Ramirez-Vega (TROY) 8-3
3. Olivia Bennett/Emily Flickinger (AU) def. Samya El Hsissen/Candela Munoz Giron (TROY) 8-4
1. Karoline Grymel (TROY) def. Emily Flickinger (AU) 6-3, 6-2
2. Jen Pfeifler (AU) def. Olfa Dhaoui (TROY) 6-2, 6-0
3. Lyubov Dorofeeva (TROY) def. Paulina Schippers (AU) 6-2, 6-1
4. Plamena Kuteva (AU) def. Candela Munoz Giron (TROY) 6-1, 6-2
5. Jacqueline Kasler (AU) def. Roxy Ramirez-Vega (TROY) 6-1, 6-4
6. Olivia Bennett (AU) def. Samya El Hsissen (TROY) 7-6 (7-2), 6-1
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3*); Singles (2,1,4,5*,3,6)