UH women's tennis bows to New Mexico St.

March 8, 2008 8:21:51 PM PST
It came down to the final set in the final match but the University of Houston¹s quest for an undefeated home slate at the John E. Hoff Courts came to an end Saturday, as New Mexico State squeaked out a 4-3 decision over the Cougars.With the loss, Houston drops to 8-6 on the season, and will look to rebound on Monday at home against Conference USA foe Central Florida.

With the match knotted at 3-all, the Cougars' fate rode on the broad shoulders of freshman Lucy Forward at No. 1 singles. After taking the first set 6-3 over Sophia Marks, Forward dropped the second set 6-3 to set up the third-set showdown. Forward dropped the final set 6-4 after the set was tied 4-4.

"You hate to lose any match," UH head coach John Severance said, "especially when it is as close as this one was. We lost a close doubles point, and then came out firing and won three straight singles matches in straight sets. Then, it was to Court 1 with the freshman (Forward).

"The match score was three-all and her individual match was four-all in the third set, so it doesn't get any closer than that."

UH also dropped a close decision in the doubles play, even though the Cougars failed to win any of the three matches. Forward and Vicky Simpson dropped an 8-3 decision at No. 1 against Aleksa Costa and Marks, but the tandems of Leila Salek/Jordan McCombs at No. 2 and Lynley Wasson/Joanna Kacprzyk at No. 3 both battled back in their doubles matches, only to both fall by identical scores of 8-6.

In singles action, Salek made quick work of Zeljka Juricek at No. 2, winning 6-1, 6-2, and Wasson crushed Paulina Zuniga 6-0, 6-2, at No. 5. At No. 6, Simpson also won in straight sets, taking out Bianca Discordia 6-3, 6-2.

But at No. 3, Neila Starratt was overpowered by Stephanie Eusebe 6-0, 6-2, and McCombs dropped a straight-setter at No. 4 by 6-2, 6-1, to Anne Fagegaltier, to set up the winning match at No. 1 singles.

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