Feb. 25, 2012
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Auburn women's tennis recorded the first win over a ranked opponent since 2009 with a 4-3 win over No. 57 SMU on Saturday in the Blue-Gray Tennis Classic.
"Today was a very long day and I am proud of our resiliency," Auburn head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner said. "You have to first give credit to Virginia. They are a good team that played well today. I thought we battled with them, but they just won a few more key points than us. The SMU match was very similar, but this time we were on the positive end of those key points. There were also a lot of emotions involved in the SMU match, and I thought we did a good job of channeling those emotions. I can't say enough about how proud I am of our play today. Plus, topping the day off with a ranked win is something that we can really build on. Now we will try to get some rest and get ready to take on a good Oklahoma State team."
The ranked win was the first since Auburn defeated No. 19 Kentucky 5-2 on March 29, 2009.
After falling behind in singles actions 2-0 with losses at the No. 1 and No. 3 posts, Auburn bounced back largely in part to stellar play from the bottom of its lineup. Facing a 2-0 deficit, the Tigers got key singles victories by Olivia Bennett (6-1, 6-0) at number six and No. 4 Jackie Kasler (6-0, 6-1) to draw the match score even at 2-2.
SMU was able to inch back ahead 3-2 after Jen Pfeifer dropped a nail-biter 4-6, 5-7 at the number two spot. Despite facing another deficit, the resilient Tigers responded once again and Plamena Kurteva capped the comeback with a three-set victory, 7-5, 1-6, 6-1.
Auburn then made quick work of the Mustangs in doubles play. The tandems of Emily Flickinger and Kasler, along with Bennett and Pfeifler both secured commanding 8-1 wins in doubles action to wrap up the point and the victory.
Longbotham Meisner served as head coach at SMU for five seasons prior to being hired as head coach at Auburn in October 2011.
In the morning session, Auburn battled top-seed Virginia to third sets in three match-ups. Ultimately, the Tigers fell 5-0 to the 12th-ranked Cavaliers in a match that was closer than the score indicated.
Both Pfeifler and Taylor Schriemann battled deep into the third set before ultimately falling. Pfeifler responded to dropping the first set 1-6 with a rebound 6-3 win, but left the third set unfinished after Virginia secured the win. Schreimann also bounced back from an opening loss to force a third set with a dominant 6-1 second-set victory, before dropping the determining frame, 6-0.
Auburn wraps up play in the Blue-Gray Tennis Classic on Sunday with a dual-match against Oklahoma State at 12 p.m. CT. For the latest on Auburn women's tennis follow @AUWomensTennis on Twitter.
Auburn 4, No. 57 SMU 3
Cieplucha (SMU) def. Emily Flickinger (AU) 6-3, 6-2
Fayner (SMU) def. Jen Pfeifler (AU) 6-4, 5-7
Steinbauer (SMU) def. Paulina Schippers (AU) 6-2, 6-0
Plamena Kurteva (AU) def. Turpin (SMU) 7-5, 1-6, 6-1
Jackie Kasler (AU) def. Roberts (SMU) 6-0, 6-1
Olivia Bennett (AU) def. Anderson (SMU) 6-1, 6-0
Kurteva/Schippers vs. Cieplucha/Steinbauer DNF
Flickinger/Kasler (AU) def. Fayner/Turpin (SMU) 8-1
Bennett/Pfeifler (AU) def. Roberts/Anderson (SMU) 8-1
No. 12 Virginia 5, Auburn 0
Fraser (UVA) def. Emily Flickinger (AU) 6-3, 6-4
Hardenbergh (UVA) vs. Pfeifler (AU) DNF
Xi (UVA) def. Paulina Schippers (AU) 6-2, 6-2
Tomljanovic (UVA) def. Plamena Kurteva (AU) 6-3, 6-3
Vierra (UVA) def. Jackie Kasler (AU) 6-4, 7-5
O'Koniewski (UVA) def. Taylor Schreimann (AU) 4-6, 6-1, 6-0