Sophomore Lucia Kovarcikova.
May 11, 2012
CORAL GABLES, Fla.- The 37th-ranked University of Utah women's tennis team (12-10) earned the school's first NCAA Tournament victory Friday in dramatic fashion, coming back from a 3-0 deficit to upset 21st-ranked Texas Tech (19-6), 4-3, in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Championships in Coral Gables, Fla. Sophomore Lucia Kovarcikova earned the match-clinching point for the Utes by defeating Kenna Kilgo 2-6, 6-1, 6-2, at the No. 5 singles spot.
"Ironically, this match came down to Lucia just like last time and she kept her composure on a very hot day," said head coach Mat Iandolo. "Moving to the Regional Final is a new step for our program."
Down 3-0 after dropping the doubles point singles matches at the No. 2 and No. 6 positions, Utah got its first point from 54th-ranked senior Anastasia Putilina as she defeated Elizabeth Ullathorne 6-2, 6-4, at the No. 1 position. Freshman Danielle Flores then topped Caroline Starck 6-3, 6-4, at the No. 4 spot, cutting the Red Raider's lead to 3-2.
Next up, sophomore Callie Craig bested Rashmi Teltumbde at the No 3. Position, 6-4, 6-3, tying up the score at 3-3 and setting Kovarcikova up for the match clincher.
In doubles play, the duo of Flores and freshman Natasha Smith dropped an 8-6 decision to Starck and Nikki Sanders at the No. 2 positions. The team of Kovarcikova and sophomore Sarah Pham fell to Ullathorne and Teltumbde 8-6 at the No. 3 spot, giving Texas Tech the doubles point.
In singles play, Pham dropped a 6-4, 6-1, decision to 117th-ranked Adams at the No. 2 position, while Smith fell to Sanders 6-3, 6-1, at the No. 6 spot, putting the Red Raiders up 3-0.
The Utes will face 10th-seeded Miami (18-4) in the second round tomorrow at 1p.m. ET.
#37 Utah 4, #21 Texas Tech 3 2012 NCAA Championships-First Round May 11, 2012 at Coral Gables, Fla. (Neil Schiff Tennis Center)
Singles competition 1. #54 Anastasia Putilina (UTAH) def. Elizabeth Ullathorne (TTU) 6-2, 6-4 2. #117 Samantha Adams (TTU) def. Sarah Pham (UTAH) 6-4, 6-1 3. Callie Craig (UTAH) def. Rashmi Teltumbde (TTU) 6-4, 6-3 4. Danielle Flores (UTAH) def. Caroline Starck (TTU) 6-3, 6-4 5. Lucia Kovarcikova (UTAH) def. Kenna Kilgo (TTU) 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 6. Nikki Sanders (TTU) def. Natasha Smith (UTAH) 6-3, 6-1
Doubles competition 1. #87 Anastasia Putilina/Callie Craig (UTAH) vs. #19 Samantha Adams/Kenna Kilgo (TTU) 8-7, unfinished 2. Caroline Starck/Nikki Sanders (TTU) def. Danielle Flores/Natasha Smith (UTAH) 8-6 3. Elizabeth Ullathorne/Rashmi Teltumbde (TTU) def. Sarah Pham/Lucia Kovarcikova (UTAH) 8-6
Match Notes: Utah (12-10); National ranking #37 Texas Tech (19-6); National ranking #21 Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (2,6,1,4,3,5)