Oct. 25, 2009
AUBURN, Ala. - The Auburn women's tennis team had its best day of the young 2009 season today on day three of the 2009 ITA Southern Regional at Yarborough Tennis Center in Auburn. Freshman Caroline Thornton won the consolation singles bracket of the tournament and senior Fani Chifchieva advanced to the main-draw finals with a semi-final victory in the final match of the day.
Thornton began her day by defeating Soledad Podlipnik of Ole Miss 7-6 (2), 6-4 in the third round of the back draw. The freshman then advanced to the finals after South Alabama's Alina Volman withdrew from the tournament. Facing Julie Mazinova in the finals, the Sullivans Island, S.C. native dropped the first set, 5-7. However, she fought back in the second set 6-1, and won a 10-8 tie-break to capture the first major collegiate victory of her career.
Chifchieva's path to the final ran through Ole Miss' Abigail Guthrie in the round of eight. The senior All-American dropped the first set in a 6-7 (5) tie-break, but rallied in the final two sets 6-4, 6-4 to take the match and advance to the tournament semi-finals. In the semi-final match against Karen Njissen of Ole Miss, Chifchieva took home a straight-set victory 6-2, 6-3.
"We had a really solid day today," said head coach Tim Gray. "Fani is really hitting her stride, doing a great job in the quarter-finals, and took care of business in the semi. Caroline also showed great resolve in winning the consolation draw. She beat some solid players and fought extremely hard."
The fourth and final day of the tournament on Monday will consist of a pair of finals matches. Action commences at 10 a.m. as the Ole Miss Rebel tandem of Kristi Boxx and Karen Njissen take on Alabama's Alexa Guarachi and Courtney McLane. The singles championship, tentatively scheduled for noon, will feature Chifchieva against Boxx, who will pull double duty on the day in both the doubles and singles championship.
Singles: Round of 8 Chifchieva (AUB) def. Guthrie (TROY) 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4
Singles: Consolation Round 3 Volman (USA) def. Bybee (AUB) 6-0, 6-0 Thornton (AUB) def. Podlipnik (UM) 7-6 (2), 6-4
Singles: Consolations Quarterfinals Thornton (AUB) def. Volman (USA) withdraw
Singles: Consolations Finals Thornton (AUB) def. Mazinova (ULL) 5-7, 6-1, 10-8
Singles Main Draw: Semifinals
Chifchieva (AUB) def. Karen Njissen (UM) 6-2, 6-3