UH women's tennis squeaks past Samford

BIRMINGHAM, AL The Cougars improve to 10-7 on the season, while the Bulldogs dropped to 9-3.

"I told (Wasson) to work really hard, and eventually (Weaver) would get tired," UH head coach John Severance said. "It was a war of attrition and we came out on top. Samford is a very good tennis team, so to come into their place and beat them is something special.

"And, Leila (Salek) has been our workhorse over the past year-and-a-half, and we have never won a match when she doesn't win except for today. It says a lot about our team being to pick up the slack when Leila doesn't win."

In the first-ever matchup between the two schools, the Cougars grabbed the doubles point to stake themselves to a 1-0 lead. Vicky Simpson and Jordan McCombs got the ball rolling, taking out Rebecca Kirven and Andrie Meiring, 8-2, at No. 3 doubles, and then Wasson teamed with Salek to knock off Lindsey Mallory and Taylor Morgan 8-5.

The Cougars dropped all three singles spots at the top of their lineup, so it was up to the bottom of the lineup to bail them out. At No. 5, Simpson made quick work of Mallory, 6-2, 6-2, while at No. 6, Joanna Kacprzyk returned to the lineup and smashed Lindsey Reidenback 6-2, 6-1.

However, Forward dropped her match at No. 1 singles, falling 6-3, 6-2, to Morgan, and Neila Starratt lost a heartbreaker at #3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) to Anna Jackson, who had seen time earlier this season at No. 1 for Samford.

Salek lost a three-set match to Meiring, 7-6 (7-3), 0-6, 6-4, to set up Wasson's heroics at No. 4.

With the win Severance became just the fourth coach in UH history to achieve at least 60 careers wins, joining Cathy Beene (84 wins, 1986-93), Daryl Gralka (70 wins, 1979-84) and Stina Mosvold (62 wins, 1993-99) in this illustrious group. Also, the double-digits in wins mark the fourth straight season for Severance and the seventh consecutive for the Cougar program.

Houston returns to action on March 22, when it travels to Louisville to face the Cardinals at noon. While in Louisville, the Cougars also will take on South Alabama on March 23.

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