Cougars Ride Opening Doubles Point to 4-3 Win Over Alabama

March 14, 2007

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Senior Marjolein van de Ven's straight-set win at No. 3 singles was the match-clincher as No. 42 Washington State University defeated No. 54 Alabama, 4-3, Wednesday afternoon at the UA Varsity Courts.

With the win the Cougars improve to 10-6 on the season while the Crimson Tide falls to 5-7. The win was the first in the series for WSU in three matches against Alabama.

The day began with the Cougars taking two of three doubles matches for the opening point. Aleksandra Stefanova and Aleksandra Cekic posted an 8-2 win over Nicole Briceno and Paulina Bigos at No. 3 doubles before Alabama earned a win at No. 2 when Andrea Brenes and Bianca Svensson defeated Amy Toth and Anastesia Opata, 8-5. With the doubles point on the line, the top Cougar tandem of Ekaterina Burduli and van de Ven defeated Mari Muller and Shelley Godwin, 8-5, giving WSU the lead heading into singles play.

Alabama evened the match when Alice Tunaru defeated Cekic, 6-0, 6-3, at No. 4. Toth finished off a 7-5, 6-0, win over Godwin at No. 2 for a short-lived lead as Svensson's 6-3, 6-3, win over Opata at No. 6 evened the match at 2-2. The victory was Toth's 73rd of her career, moving her alone into seventh place on the Cougars' all-time wins list.

At the No. 1 spot, Burduli fought back from a set down against Muller to earn a 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 win, leaving WSU one win shy of the team victory. It didn't take long as van de Ven used a first-set tiebreaker before pulling away for the 7-6, 6-2 win over Briceno at No. 3. It marked van de Ven's team-leading 20th win of the season.

The match at No. 5 singles between WSU's Stefanova and Alabama's Brenes was headed to a third set, but with the team victory already decided, the two played a super tiebreaker for the third set. Brenes won the tiebreaker to earn a 7-6, 3-6, 1-0 win.

The Cougars return home from their brief two-match swing through Alabama to face Pac-10 foe Washington Sunday at the Simmelink Tennis Courts at Hollingbery Fieldhouse. Matchtime is set for noon.

WASHINGTON STATE TENNISWashington State 4, Alabama 3March 14, 2007UA Varsity CourtsTuscaloosa, Ala.

Doubles:1. Ekaterina Burduli / Marjolein van de Ven (WSU) def. Mari Muller/Shelly Godwin (UA), 8-52. Andrea Brenes/Bianca Svensson (UA) def. Amy Toth / Anastesia Opata (WSU), 8-53. Aleksandra Stefanova / Aleksandra Cekic (WSU) def. Nicole Briceno/Paulina Bigos (UA), 8-2Order of finish: Doubles (3, 2, 1)

Singles:1. Ekaterina Burduli (WSU) def. Mari Muller (UA), 5-7, 6-3, 6-12. Amy Toth (WSU) def. Shelley Godwin (UA), 7-5, 6-03. Marjolein van de Ven (WSU) def. Nicole Briceno (UA), 7-6, 6-24. Alice Tunaro (UA) def. Aleksandra Cekic (WSU), 6-0, 6-35. Andrea Brenes (UA) def. Aleksandra Stefanova (WSU), 7-6, 3-6, 1-06. Bianca Svensson (UA) def. Anastesia Opata (WSU), 6-3, 6-3Singles ( 4, 2, 5, 1, 6, 3)
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