Nov. 4, 2012
HOUSTON – Members of the Auburn women’s tennis team closed out the fall schedule with 20 victories and dodged considerable rain showers over the weekend at the Tennis Express Houston Open at John E. Hoff Courts.
“I thought we played really well,” Auburn women’s tennis head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner said. This was a great way to finish the fall season. I’m pleased with how we played in doubles. We had some new teams out there to do some experimenting and all three did a terrific job of adjusting to new partners. I am looking forward to the off season and a chance to continue to improve and to establish our spring roles.
“Overall, I’m really excited about how we competed this fall and I’m very optimistic as to what this team can do in the spring.”
Jackie Kasler won three-straight matches to pick up the title in the Carl Lewis draw. The junior started her weekend with a 6-1, 6-3 dispatching of Liberty’s Alexandra Sheeran and followed up with a victory over Oregon’s Barbora Vykydalova, 6-0, 7-6 (5) . In the draw final, Kasler dropped Rice’s Katie Gater in a three setter, 6-1, 5-7, 10-7.
Jen Pfeifler took home in the title in the Andre Ware draw. After a 6-3, 6-1 win over Melissa Hadad (Texas State), 6-3, 6-1. The Gulf Breeze, Fla. native then advanced to the final after North Texas’ Franziska Sprinkmeyer retired in the second set. Pfeifler had won the opening set 6-2.
In the final, the sophomore defeated Rice’s Kimberly Anicete in straight sets, 6-4, 7-5 to earn the title.
Auburn’s third player to win her draw was sophomore Emily Flickinger. The Arlington, Va. native defeated Texas State’s Katy Collins, 6-3, 6-0 in her opening match and followed up with a three-set win over Solomiya Zinko (Rice), 6-2, 3-6, 11-9, to advance to the final.
Flickinger defeated Ksenia Pronina 6-4, 6-4 in the Kenny Rogers draw final to earn her first singles title of the fall.
Freshman Ashley Kitchen battled back from a first round setback to pick up a pair of wins and earn the Randy Quaid back draw title. Kitchen defeated Liberty’s Jessie Boda (6-2, 6-2) and Oregon’s Lana Buttner (6-1, 6-1) to end her fall on a high note.
In the Akeem Olajuwon singles draw, freshman Pleun Burgmans continued her strong fall season with a pair of wins. She knocked off Kseniya Bardabush (North Texas) 6-2, 6-2 in the opening round, but then fell to Rice’s Dominique Harmath. Burgmans was able to rebound with a 6-1, 6-0 consolation victory over Oregon’s Patricia Skowronski (6-1, 6-0).
Auburn also enjoyed considerable success in doubles action. All three teams composed of Tiger players reached the finals of their respective brackets, but two finals were canceled due to rain. Burgmans and Kasler defeated teams from TCU and Oregon, but had their final canceled.
Pfeifler and Flickinger earned a 9-7 win over Rice’s Gater and Zinko, then an 8-0 victory over the tandem of Julia Metzger and Pascale Neubert. The Auburn duo was awarded the draw title in a walk over.
Kitchen and Michala Kucharova dropped North Texas’ Dane Joubert and Agustina Valenzuela, 8-2 in the fisrt round of play in the Chandi Jones draw. The pair followed up with an 8-4 win over Boda and Brittany Yang (Liberty) to reach the final, but the match was canceled due to weather.
Each of the draws were named for notable University of Houston alumni. The tournament in Houston concluded Auburn’s fall schedule. The Tigers are in action next on January 25-27 at the ITA Kickoff Weekend event in Chapel Hill, N.C.
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