ODU Completes the Most Epic of Comebacks to Claim 4-3 Victory
By ODU Athletics
NORFOLK, Va. – After trailing Tulane 3-0, the Old Dominion University women’s tennis team completed the most epic of comebacks to claim a 4-3 victory and advance to the Quarterfinals of the 2014 Conference USA Tournament on Thursday at the Folkes-Stevens Tennis Center.
Thursday morning’s matches were held on the indoor courts at ODU’s Folkes-Stevens Tennis Center due to low temperatures in the Norfolk area.
Tulane jumped out to a 3-0 lead off wins by No. 53 Klara Vyskocilova at No. 1 singles over Nikol Hristova (6-0, 6-4), Meredith Maltby at No. 4 over Melissa Esnal Olguin (7-5, 2-6, 6-1) and Ipek Birol at No. 2 over Marijana Novakovic (7-5, 4-6, 6-2).
After dropping the first set by a score of 6-0, ODU’s Ivana Vukovic posted 6-4 second set win to take the match into a third set and also to keep the Lady Monarchs hanging on by a thread. In the third set, Vukovic fought off multiple match points and converted numerous pressure points to pull off a near improbable 7-5 tiebreak-win over Tulane’s Jacqui Katz at the No. 3 singles slot.
“I felt the momentum start to shift with Ivana’s match,” Old Dominion Head Coach Dominic Manilla said. “When she came back and won that second set that kind of set the tone for everybody else. I think that was the key.”
Vukovic’s thrilling victory gave Old Dominion their first team point of the match, it was then that Nika Khmolovska was in complete control the entire match to make quick work of Tulane’s Margaux Hyman, 6-2, 6-3. Old Dominion’s senior co-captain, who was also just named to the 2014 C-USA All-Academic Team this week, has now won four out of her last five matches.
ODU’s Faith Atiso got the nod in the No. 6 slot for Manilla’s Lady Monarchs, as Old Dominion freshman Ingrid Vojcinakova was a scratch due to a knee injury. Atiso did not miss a beat and posted straight-set wins to send the match to doubles.
In doubles, Khmolovska and Vukovic staked the Lady Monarchs to an early advantage with an 8-3 win over Dvorak and Hyman at the No. 3 spot. Both Nika and Ivana, along with Faith not only won their single’s matches but all three also played a large part in winning their ever-so crucial double’s matches.
Sealing the game, set and match for Manilla’s Lady Monarchs were the tandem of Novakovic and Atiso, who came up clutch and clinched the match with an 8-6 win over Birol and Maltby.
NEXT UP FOR THE LADY MONARCHS
Old Dominion and No. 2 seeded Rice will meet at 10 a.m. on Friday in the first match of the quarterfinals at the Folkes-Stevens Tennis Center.
Old Dominion: 4 Tulane: 3
1 No. 53 Klara Vyskocilova (TLN) d. Nikol Hristova (ODU), 6-0, 6-4
2 Ipek Birol (TLN) d. Marijana Novakovic (ODU), 7-5, 4-6, 6-2
3 Ivana Vukovic (ODU) d. Jacqui Katz (TLN), 0-6, 6-4, 7-6
4 Meredith Maltby (TLN) d. Melissa Esnal Olguin (ODU), 7-5, 2-6, 6-1
5 Margaux Hyman (TLN) vs. Nika Khomolovska (ODU)
6 Emily Dvorak (TLN) vs. Faith Atiso (ODU)
Order of finish: 1, 4, 2, 3, 5, 6
1 Hristova/Olguin (ODU) v Vyskocilova/Katz (TLN), 7-4, unf.
2 Novakoic/Atiso (ODU) d. Birol/Maltby (TLN), 8-6
3 Khomolovska/Vukovic (ODU) d. Dvorak/Hyman (TLN), 8-3
Order of finish: 3, 2
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