March 3, 2007
Columbia, Mo. -
The University of Missouri women's tennis team defeated No. 63 Kansas State, 5-2, Saturday at the Green Tennis Center in Columbia. The win marks the Tigers' first conference win of the year; they are now 5-3 on the spring and 1-2 in the Big 12. Mizzou has now won three in a row and four out of five.
The win marks the Tigers' fourth home win of the season, and MU Head Coach Blake Starkey recognizes the team's advantage at home.
"We're a different team at home. We had a great crowd today. I am very appreciative of that. This is getting to be a fun place with a lot of the people that are coming out."
The good crowd saw an exciting win for the Tigers, a win that started with great doubles action.
"We just played really, really well (overall), and I think the doubles point established it," Starkey said.
At No. 2 doubles Amanda Pratzel and Erika Josbena were down, 0-4, to start the match, but they won the next three games, to close the gap to 4-3. Viviana Yrureta and Tamar Kvaratskhelia won the next game to go up 5-3, but Josbena and Pratzel won the next five games, behind Pratzel's strong forehands and Josbena's good net play, to win the match, 8-5.
At No. 3, the Tiger duo of Chrissy Svetlic and Kaitlin Dunham earned a 8-4 victory over Natasha Vieira and Tereza Prochazkova, thanks to the combination of Dunham's strong shots and Svetlic's good net play.
Katelyn McKenzie and Raquel Wagner fell at No. 1 to Katerina Kudlackova and Olga Klimova, 8-4.
After winning the doubles point, the Tigers only needed three singles victories to win the match. They earned four, none more impressive than Pratzel's win at No. 2.
Pratzel earned yet another comeback victory at No. 2 singles, defeating KSU's Tamar Kvaratskhelia, 5-7, 7-6 (8-6), 6-1. Pratzel was down, 6-1, in the second set tiebreak, and came back to win, 8-6. Then in the third and deciding set, she jumped out to a 5-0 lead, and sailed to a 6-1 third set win. Last Sunday, Pratzel earned a comeback win against Montana's Mari Castello, 0-6, 6-4, 6-2.
The Tigers also earned a victory at No. 4 singles, but it was a new face in the spot for the Tigers. Before the match, Starkey announced Dunham would play in the No. 4 position, moving her up from her usual 5th slot. Dunham was up to the challenge, as she defeated Klimova, 6-2, 6-3, to earn her second Big 12 win this spring. Dunham used her powerful serves to set the tone for the straight-set victory, and now boasts a 2-1 conference record.
"She's just been winning a lot, and it was time to bring her up. You just want to see what they can do, you just want to keep challenging them. Olga is a nice ball player, and Kaitlin just took it to her," Coach Starkey said.
Wagner earned her first Big 12 victory of the spring by defeating Natasha Vieira, 6-3, 6-3, at No. 5 singles. She now stands at 4-4 on the spring and 13-9 overall.
McKenzie also won her first Big 12 victory of the spring, downing Prochazkova, 7-6 (4), 6-2, at the No. 6 spot.
At No. 1 singles, Josbena had a great first set against K-State's Viviana Yrureta, behind strong serves and good play at the baseline. Josbena won the set, 6-2, winning all four of her serves and breaking Yrureta twice. But Yrureta came back to win the second set, 6-2, and also won the third and deciding set, 6-2. Head Coach Blake Starkey was quick to mention how much Josbena has improved since the last time the two met, last fall in the K-State Mock Duals. In that match, Yrureta had complete control, earning a 6-1, 6-2 victory.
At No. 3 singles, Svetlic lost to Kudlackova, 6-2, 6-4.
The Tigers will welcome No. 43 Colorado to the Green Tennis Center next Saturday (March 10). The match is set for 1 p.m. Admission is free and tennis fans are encouraged to attend.
Missouri 5 Kansas State 2
Saturday March 3, 2007
Green Tennis Center Indoor Courts
1. Katerina Kudlackova/Olga Klimova (KSU) def. Raquel Wagner/Katelyn McKenzie (MU) 8-4
2. Amanda Pratzel/Erika Josbena (MU) def. Viviana Yrureta/Tamar Kvaratskhelia (KSU) 8-5
3. Kaitlin Dunham/Chrissy Svetlic (MU) def. Natasha Vieira/ Tereza Prochazkova (KSU) 8-4
1. Viviana Yrureta (KSU) def. Erika Josbena (MU) 2-6, 6-2, 6-2
2. Amanda Pratzel (MU) def. Tamar Kvaratskhelia (KSU) 5-7, 7-6 (8-6), 6-1
3. Katerina Kudlackova (KSU) def. Chrissy Svetlic (MU), 6-2, 6-4
4. Kaitlin Dunham (MU) def. Olga Klimova (KSU) 6-2, 6-3
5. Raquel Wagner (MU) def. Natasha Vieira (KSU) 6-3, 6-3
6. Katelyn McKenzie (MU) def. Tereza Prochazkova (KSU) 7-6 (4), 6-2