March 11, 2012
BATON ROUGE, La. – No. 75 Auburn women’s tennis lost a heartbreaker to No. 51 LSU on Sunday, 4-3. Auburn fell behind early when it dropped the doubles point, but were unable to come up with enough key points in singles to rally for the win.
“This was a great college tennis match,” head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner said. “It was a dogfight, but we knew it was going to be that way because there are no easy matches in the SEC. I wish that we could have done better early on in doubles. We came out flat, and the match ended up coming down to that point and coming out flat cost us.”
For the third straight match, the tandem of Plamena Kurteva and Taylor Schreimann picked up a win at the No. 3 doubles line, taking out Ariel Morton and Ebie Wilson, 8-6. The duo is now 3-0 in SEC play this season. The win wasn’t enough however, as Auburn (7-5) dropped its matches at the top doubles lines to surrender the doubles point.
“In singles, the match played out the same way,” Longbotham Meisner said. “LSU is a great team and a few points here and there just didn’t go our way. They deserve all the credit for winning the match.”
Auburn found itself trailing 2-0 early on in singles play, but rallied to even the match at 2-2 with wins at the top of the lineup. Emily Flickinger picked up her second SEC win at the No. 2 line with her 6-4, 6-2, win over Whitney Wolf. Shortly after, Kurteva finished off Kaitlin Burns in straight sets on court three, 6-2, 6-4, to make the score 2-all.
LSU surged ahead once again, 3-2, as Yvette Vlaar rallied to defeat Schreimann at No. 6. The senior captain from Texas had claimed the first set 6-4, but could not hang on for victory falling 6-1, 6-3 in the second and third sets.
Needing to win out to get the four points necessary for the match win, Auburn fought hard to force third sets in its two remaining matches.
No. 125 Olivia Bennett won her first set, 7-6, over Kari Frankenburger at No. 5, before falling in the second by the same score. The sophomore then ran out of steam in the third set, and ultimately fell 6-1. The loss clinched the match in favor of LSU.
The final margin of 4-3 was set once Auburn’s Jackie Kasler finished off Ebie Wilson in three sets at No. 4. The Gulf Breeze, Fla.-native won her third consecutive league match, rallying to claim a 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 victory.
“It hurts that we lost, but we fought very hard and I am happy with the way we played,” Longbotham Meisner said. “I continue to be proud of our effort, and I think people realize that this team is always going to battle. The match was intense and we had our chances, but again the doubles point was the difference. However, I can’t say enough how pleased I am with how this team is playing.”
Auburn returns to the courts on Wednesday when it hosts No. 19 Georgia Tech at the Yarbrough Tennis Center at 1:30 p.m. CT. Admission is FREE to all home tennis matches.
Live stats will be available on AuburnTigers.com and fans can also follow @AUWomensTennis on Twitter for updates.
No. 51 LSU 4, No. 75 Auburn 3
1. Whitney Wolf/Kari Frankenberger (LSU) def. Emily Flickinger/Jackie Kasler (AU) 8-1
2. Olivia Howlett/Yvette Vlaar (LSU) def. Olivia Bennett/Jen Pfeifler (AU) 8-5
3. Plamena Kurteva/Taylor Schreimann (AU) def. Ariel Morton/Ebie Wilson (LSU) 8-6
1. Olivia Howlett (LSU) def. Jen Pfeifler (AU) 6-2, 6-4
2. Emily Flickinger (AU) def. Whitney Wolf (LSU) 6-4, 6-2
3. Plamena Kurteva (AU) def. Kaitlin Burns (LSU) 6-2, 6-4
4. Jackie Kasler (AU) def. Ebie Wilson (LSU) 5-7, 6-4, 6-1
5.Kari Frankenburger (LSU) def. No. 125 Olivia Bennett (AU) 6-7, 7-6, 6-1
6. Yvette Vlaar (LSU) def. Taylor Schreimann (AU) 4-6, 6-1, 6-3
Order of finish: Doubles (1, 2* 3) Singles (1, 2, 3, 6, 5*, 4)