Feb. 23, 2014
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Auburn’s doubles play proved to be the deciding factor in the third-place match at the Blue Gray Classic with the Tigers defeating No. 21 Texas Tech, 4-3, on Sunday at Lagoon Park Tennis Center in Montgomery.
“You can always tell the character of a team when they get knocked down. Last night, I challenged the girls to come out today and show me what they are made of,” Auburn head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner said following the win. “I am glad this was a dog fight till the end, we needed to be in a tight situation so that we had to show guts and courage.”
The morning match featured singles play first due to the threat of the rain as both teams went to doubles play tied at 3-3. No. 15 Pleun Burgmans and Emily Flickinger clinched the match for the Tigers in doubles, winning 6-3 on court one. Jackie Kasler and Jen Pfeifler provided the Tigers with their first win of the day in doubles, 6-1, on court three.
The No. 19 Tigers have won the doubles point in all 12 matches this season. Auburn’s combined record in doubles during dual match play now stands at 26-3.
“This team met my challenge as a collective group from top to bottom and I am proud of that. We needed to know that if it came down to the wire that we can pull through and get it done,” Meisner said. The doubles was the deciding factor and it’s a position we are comfortable being in. We are known for our great doubles teams, it’s a huge strength that we have as a team we have yet to lose that point. I think this win gives us great experience and confidence going into SEC play.”
Auburn (10-2) and Texas Tech (9-2) split singles as Burgmans, Flickinger and Kasler were all winners for the Tigers on Sunday. The Red Raiders jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but Auburn stormed back with three straight wins giving the Tigers the lead with two matches left on the court.
The Tigers battled back with three straight wins in singles play as No. 65 Flickinger posted a 6-4, 6-4 victory at the No. 2 spot in the lineup. No. 21 Burgmans returned to her winning ways in singles, surviving a three-set match on court one to pick up the win 6-1, 5-7, 1-0 (10-6) to tie the match 2-2.
Jackie Kasler put Auburn in front 3-2 with a 6-1, 6-2 victory on court six putting the Tigers just one point away clinching. Michala Kucharova was Auburn’s last player on the court in singles, but fell 6-3, 6-3 on court five to force both teams to play doubles where Auburn clinched the match.
Auburn finishes the non-conference slate at 10-2 and opens up SEC play on Friday, Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. against Ole Miss at the Yarbrough Tennis Center. The Tigers also host Mississippi State on Sunday, March 2 at 1 p.m. Admission is free to all home tennis matches.