March 8, 2006
AUBURN, Ala. - Trailing 3-1, the Auburn women's tennis team put forth a valiant comeback effort by posting two straight wins to even the match at three before succumbing to Troy, 4-3, on Wednesday at the Luther Young Tennis Complex.
After winning two of three doubles matches to secure the doubles point, the Tigers (4-6, 0-2 SEC) dropped the first three singles matches which put their backs against the wall. Despite dropping the first set in five of six singles matches, Auburn responded by posting back-to-back wins in the Nos. 3 and 5 matches to even the score.
The decisive match came down to the No. 1 match between No. 89 Whitney Chappell and Troy's Rawia Elsisi. Chappell dropped the opening set 6-3, before winning the second set 6-3 to square the match. In the third set Rawia was able to hold off Chappell, 6-3, to give Troy (4-1, 0-0 Sun Belt) the win.
"We got off to a good start and won the doubles point, but we didn't have the emotional energy we needed to start the singles and that made the difference," head coach Tim Gray said. "They came out in singles very fired up and it showed. They won every first set except for No. 5, but we turned it around and I felt like we were going in the right direction and it just came down to who was going to battle a little harder, and today they got us. I was really proud of the effort. Troy is a good team and we knew it was going to be a good match. I was really happy with the way we competed and left it all on the court."
In doubles play, the duo of Whitney Chappell and Tori Almagno won their third straight match at the No. 1 position, as they claimed an 8-5 win over Troy's duo of Claudia Strauss and Tsitsi Masviba. The Tigers secured the doubles point in the No. 2 match, as Alex Haney and Ashley Cowart defeated Troy's team of Rawia Elsisi and Suzanne Jones, 8-3. In the No. 3 match, Troy's tandem of Bares and Shaw upended Erin Gry and Leigh Tippins, 8-7.
In singles play, Troy won the Nos. 2, 6 and 4 matches before Auburn claimed its first singles victory. Auburn's comeback began with a 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 come-from-behind-win by Ashley Cowart in the No. 3 match. Cowart's win was over Claudia Strauss. Auburn evened the match at three after Dzeljan Memisi held on to defeat Troy's Suzanne Jones, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. As aforementioned No. 89 Whitney Chappell lost to Rawia Elsisi, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in the No. 1 match. In the No. 2 match, Troy's Tsitsi Masviba defeated Alex Haney, 6-4, 6-4. At the No. 6 position Erin Gray fell to Caroline Jouanin, 6-3, 6-4. In the No. 4 match, Tori Almagno lost to Annabelle Bares, 6-4, 6-4.
The Tigers continue their five-match homestand with Mississippi State at 1 p.m. Friday.
Women's Collegiate Tennis
Troy at Auburn
Troy 4, Auburn 3
1. Rawia Elsisi, Troy def. No. 89 Whitney Chappell, AU, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
2. Tsitsi Masviba, Troy def. Alex Haney, AU, 6-4, 6-4.
3. Ashley Cowart, AU def. Claudia Strauss, Troy, 2-6, 6-2, 6-2.
4. Annabelle Bares, Troy def. Tori Almagno, AU, 6-4, 6-4.
5. Dzeljan Memisi, AU def. Suzanne Jones, Troy, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.
6. Caroline Jouanin, Troy def. Erin Gray, AU, 6-3, 6-4.
Order of Finish: 2, 6, 4, 3, 5, 1
1. Whitney Chappell/Tori Almagno, AU def. Strauss/Masviba, Troy, 8-5.
2. Alex Haney/Ashley Cowart, AU def. R. Elsisi/Jones, Troy, 8-3.
3. Bares/Shaw, Troy def. Erin Gray/Leigh Tippins, AU, 8-7.
Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3