Feb. 21, 2009
AUBURN, Ala. - The 27th-ranked Auburn women's tennis team picked up wins over UAB and Georgia State Saturday on the outdoor courts at the Yarbrough Tennis Center. Auburn had a clean sweep against the Blazers with a 7-0 shutout, but faced and overcame a tough challenge from Georgia State for a 5-2 win.
"This is a tough day for us," head women's tennis coach Tim Gray said. "We want to play and have days like this to make us tougher. We dodged a big bullet with Georgia State. They came out and fought exceptionally hard and we definitely showed our strength in singles. We are fortunate to come away with a win. I really feel like we need to get back to the drawing board in doubles and play a more aggressive style of tennis. We are going to keep working on the areas that we're struggling in."
With the wins on Saturday, the Tigers move to 3-4 in spring play, while UAB and Georgia State drop to 1-2 and 3-3, respectively.
Doubles play did not favor the Tigers against Georgia State in the night session. Auburn surrendered the doubles point to the Panthers as the 20th-ranked duo of Alex Haney and Melissa Koning were upset 8-4 by Georgia State's unranked team of Katerina Gresova and Martina Nitkova.
Playing in only third match together this spring, the All-American doubles team is now 2-1.
Panthers Linda Hricistova and Diana Nakic beat Auburn's No. 3 duo of Whitney Chappell and Myrthe Molenveld, 8-3, and was the first court to finish play in order to set up the doubles point in favor of Georgia State on court one.
Fani Chifchieva and Jil Hastenrath were the only Auburn doubles team to win both matches Saturday. First against UAB, Chifchieva and Hastenrath picked up an 8-1 win over Brittany DeFelice and Giorgia Romeo. Playing under the lights, the Tiger duo then defeated Georgia State's Dariana Kozmina and Kiara Powell 8-5.
Moving into singles play, 30th-ranked Haney evened the score at 1-1 on court two with a hard-fought 7-5, 6-4 two-set victory over Nitkova. Koning, ranked 72nd, stormed back on court three from a 3-6 first-set loss by allowing only one point from Kozmina to win 6-1, 6-0. Both Haney and Koning improve their singles record to 6-1.
On court five, Chappell netted a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Powell to move to 4-2 in her senior campaign. Fifth-ranked Chifchieva posted a solid 6-4, 6-3 win over No. 66 Nakic on court one to clinch the dual win.
Hastenrath notched a 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 win over Hricistova in the No. 6 spot to even her junior season record at 2-2. Molenveld battled to the very end against Gresova on court four, but suffered a 4-6, 7-5 (9-11) loss.
Facing UAB earlier in the afternoon, Molenveld and Chappell got things started for the Tigers by cruising to an 8-1 doubles win over Blazers Jenny Cape and Jessica Orton in the No. 3 spot. Haney and Koning topped Paula Alvarez and Evelien Strijker 8-4 on the center court for their second win of the season.
In singles play against the Blazers, Auburn won all five contested matches and did not give up more than three points in a set. The Tigers won by default on court six. Koning made easy work of Romeo with a 6-0, 6-2 win playing in the No. 2 spot and Hastenrath mirrored that score on court four against DeFelice. All-American Chifchieva denied Strijker 6-1, 6-3 on court one. Rookie Daniella Vukadinovic picked up her first singles win of the spring season via a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Cape. Chappell secured the shutout by rallying from a 7-6, 2-6 (10-2) tie-breaker win against Alvarez.
The Tigers will return to action on Feb. 28, hosting another Saturday doubleheader against Mercer and Troy. Action at the Yarbrough Tennis Center will get underway at 10 a.m., with Auburn first taking on Mercer, followed with a 4 p.m., meeting against Troy.
Auburn 7, UAB 0
Doubles (order of finish: 3, 2, 1)
1. #20 Melissa Koning/Alex Haney (AU) def. Paula Alvarez/Evelien Strijker (UAB), 8-4
2. Fani Chifchieva/Jil Hastenrath (AU) def. Brittany DeFelice/Giorgia Romeo (UAB), 8-1
3. Myrthe Molenveld/Whitney Chappell (AU) def. Jenny Cape/Jessica Orton (UAB), 8-1
Singles (order of finish: 2, 1, 4, 5, 3)
1. #5 Fani Chifchieva (AU) def. Evelien Strijker (UAB), 6-1, 6-3
2. #72 Melissa Koning (AU) def. Giorgia Romeo (UAB), 6-0, 6-2
3. Whitney Chappell (AU) def. Paula Alvarez (UAB), 7-6, 2-6 (10-2)
4. Jil Hastenrath (AU) def. Brittany DeFelice (UAB), 6-2, 6-2
5. Daniela Vukadinovic (AU) def. Jenny Cape (UAB), 6-1, 6-2
6. Dunja Djuranovic (AU) won by default
Auburn 5, Georgia State 2
Doubles (order of finish: 3, 1, 2,)
1. Katerina Gresova/Martina Nitkova (GSU) def. #20 Melissa Koning/Alex Haney (AU), 8-4
2. Fani Chifchieva/Jil Hastenrath (AU) def. Dariana Kozmina/Kiara Powell (GSU), 8-5
3. Linda Hricistova/Diana Nakic (GSU) def. Myrthe Molenveld/Whitney Chappell (AU), 8-3
Singles (order of finish: 2, 3, 5, 1, 6, 4)
1. #5 Fani Chifchieva (AU) def. Diana Nakic (GSU) 6-4, 6-3
2. #30 Alex Haney (AU) def. Martina Nitkova (GSU) 7-5, 6-4
3. #72 Melissa Koning (AU) def. Dariana Kozmina (GSU) 3-6, 6-1, 6-0
4. Katerina Gresova (GSU) def. Myrthe Molenveld (AU) 6-4, 5-7 (11-9)
5. Whitney Chappell (AU) def. Kiara Powell (GSU) 6-2, 6-3
6. Jil Hastenrath (AU) def. Linda Hricistova (GSU) 6-1, 4-6, 6-2