Musketeers Open Up Season With Victory Over Detroit

Alex Brinker played her first dual match and won her match in straight sets.

Alex Brinker played her first dual match and won her match in straight sets.

Jan. 19, 2013

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CINCINNATI - The Xavier women's team bounced back after losing the opening doubles point to earn a 5-2 decision over Detroit on Friday at the Five Season Sports Club to begin the 2013 season.

The Musketeers (1-0) won five of their six singles matches to earn the victory after being swept in close double matches that started the match. Xavier got straight-set victories from its top five singles players in the first of two matches this weekend.

"I'm really pleased with our performance tonight. Detroit is a vastly improved team," said Xavier head coach Eric Toth. "We knew we would have to compete well. By no means did we play our best tennis tonight, but I felt our effort and competitiveness was very good on every court. It's nice to get a win under our belt against a good team heading into Sunday's match with Louisville."

The Musketeers face the Cardinals beginning at 10 a.m. on Sunday at the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center in Louisville.

Returning to the court for the first since last year's Atlantic 10 Tournament was senior Katie Pleiman who represented Xavier at No. 1 singles and collected a 6-1, 6-2 decision over Nino Sujashvili. After a strong fall, freshman Alex Brinker battled to a 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 at No. 2 singles over Irina Slizovskaya for the Musketeers. Senior Kally Alkire also won her first set on a tiebreaker over Valery Kulikouskaya and put her away quickly in the second set to win 7-6 (7-6), 6-2.

The Musketeers received also wins from sophomore Daniella Patton at the No. 3 singles spot and junior Andrea Wolf at No. 5 singles. Patton defeated Raina Halabi (6-0, 6-3) and Wolf cruised to victory (6-2, 6-0) over Julia Fernandes. The only loss came at No. 6 singles where sophomore Lizzie Oosterbann dropped her match (6-2, 6-3) to Elena Strakhova.

The season-opening victory came after the Musketeers lost the opening point of the match. Alkire and Pleiman teamed together at No. 1 doubles and lost by an 8-4 score to Strakhova and Slizovskaya. The other two matches were considerably closer.

Brinker and Westling joined forces for the first time at Xavier and lost out to Sujashvili and Chloe Karoub in a tight 8-7 (7-5) decision. Patton and Wolf also battled but eventually lost their match to Fernandes and Kulikouskaya, 8-6.

Singles competition
1. Katie Pleiman (XU) def. SUJASHVILI, Nino (DET) 6-1, 6-2
2. Alex Brinker (XU) def. SLIZOVSKAYA, Irina (DET) 7-6 (7-5), 6-2
3. Daniella Patton (XU) def. HALABI, Raina (DET) 6-0, 6-3
4. Kally Alkire (XU) def. KULIKOUSKAYA, Valery (DET) 7-6 (7-6), 6-2
5. Andrea Wolf (XU) def. FERNANDES, Julia (DET) 6-2, 6-0
6. STRAKHOVA, Elena (DET) def. Lizzie Oosterbaan (XU) 6-2, 6-3

Doubles competition
1. STRAKHOVA, Elena/SLIZOVSKAYA, Irina (DET) def. Kally Alkire/Katie Pleiman (XU) 8-4
2. SUJASHVILI, Nino/KAROUB, Chloe (DET) def. Alex Brinker/Allyson Westling (XU) 8-7 (7-5)
3. FERNANDES, Julia/KULIKOUSKAYA, Valery (DET) def. Daniella Patton/Andrea Wolf (XU) 8-6