Sophomore Kelsey Kinnard got the winning ace in her Flight 2 doubles match with partner Tifanie Treece to clinch the doubles point for XU.
April 18, 2009
MONROEVILLE, Pa. - For the second straight season, No. 2-seeded Temple ended the No. 3-seeded Xavier women's tennis team's Atlantic 10 Conference Championship run, defeating the Musketeers 4-1 in the semifinals of the tournament. Last year, the Owls bested XU in the finals to earn an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
"I have to give Temple a lot of credit for today's victory," XU head coach Eric Toth said. "They are defending A-10 Champions, and by the looks today's competition they are in looking to repeat. I thought we went toe-to-toe with them."
The Musketeers earned the doubles point in thrilling fashion, winning two of the three paired matches to take a 1-0 lead. After the Flight 3 doubles match ended in Temple's favor, the XU Flight 2 pairing of seniors Kara Courtney and Jeanette Feider evened the tally with a win over Josephine Bergman and Theresa Stangl.
With the doubles point hanging in the balance, sophomore Kelsey Kinnard and Tifanie Treece broke a late tie to win their Flight 1 match and earn the Musketeers the early lead. The duo was knotted at 6-6 with the Owls' Lucy Pazderova and Elyse Steiner, but won the final two games with the winning point on a Kinnard ace to put XU up 1-0.
Temple responded in singles play, however, winning the first set in all six matches to seize the momentum early. The Owls earned victories in the top three flights to take a 3-1 lead, and earned a place in the Championship final with a final win in the Flight 5 match.
"I think our doubles today was the best we have played all season," Toth said. "I thought winning the doubles point put us in good position, but give Temple credit for swinging the momentum back to their side by getting off to quick starts, particularly in the first three courts."
XU still has one match to play, taking on Charlotte at 10 a.m. on Sunday in a battle for third-place. It will be the final time Courtney, Feider, junior Aylin Seyalioglu and senior Catherine Starr don a uniform for the Musketeers.
"We'll be ready for Charlotte tomorrow," Toth said. "Four of our players will be with us for the last time and we definitely want to go out on a winning note to honor their contributions to the program."