Resilient effort leads Raiders to 4-3 win over Troy
MT takes on No. 2 seed Georgia State in SBC SemifinalsApril 19, 2013 · @MTAthletics
LAFAYETTE, La. - The six seeded Middle Tennessee women's tennis team came back from a near season-ending deficit on Friday to knock off No. 3 seed Troy, 4-3, to advance to the Sun Belt Championship Semifinals.
The Blue Raiders (12-11) trailed 3-1 and were one set point away from the season coming to a close. Gritty play in the final three singles contests propelled the Raiders to a come-from-behind win and secured a berth into the Sun Belt Championship Semifinals. MT takes on No. 2 seed Georgia State in a 10 a.m. contest on Saturday at Bourgeois Hall in Lafayette.
Troy opened doubles action with an 8-2 victory from Karoline Grymel and Lyubov Dorofeeva over MT's Irina Constantinide and Nayara Moraes. The Trojans claimed the doubles point with an 8-4 victory from Hannah Toro/Rosaura Ramirez-Vega over Yuiri Nomoto and Flavia Nagayama.
Nomoto helped the Raiders bounce back and tie the match with a straight set sweep of 6-1, 6-0 over Toro at the number two position. However, Troy found its second point with a 6-3, 6-0 win from Ramirez-Vega over freshman Alexandra Torres. On the No. 3 court, Nagayama fell to Dorofeeva, 6-1, 6-4 to give the Trojans a 3-1 lead.
A Blue Raider comeback started with Moares' three-set victory. The sophomore fell 4-6 to Anja Cosovic in the first set, but rebounded 6-0, 6-2 to narrow the match to 3-2.
With the game decisively on the line, the true freshman Constantinide fell 4-6 to Grymel in the opening frame. Constantinide bounced back with a tense 7-6 win and won the third set 6-1 over the first team All-Sun Belt selection to claim the Raiders' third point.
Nava found herself in a tough contest at the No. 5 court. She dropped a 7-6 decision to Candela Munoz Giron in the first set. Nava fought back for a 6-3 win, forcing a match-deciding third set. The senior snatched a 6-4 win in the third set to give the Raiders their second consecutive appearance in the Sun Belt Semifinals.
"I'm so proud of the gutsy effort our team gave today," said head coach Shelley Godwin. "We got off to a slow start in doubles and had to dig our way out of a few holes in singles. When our backs were against the wall, we just kept fighting and put ourselves in a position to pull out the win. This was a total team effort and we will need to be ready to have the same fight tomorrow."
MT takes on Georgia State in a 10 a.m. contest. The winner advances to the Sun Belt Championship Finals to take on North Texas or South Alabama. Live results of Saturday's match will be available online at GoBlueRaiders.com.
Middle Tennessee 4, Troy 3
1. Constantinide, Irina (MT) def. Karoline Grymel (TROY) 4-6, 7-6, 6-1
2. Nomoto, Yuiri (MT) def. Hannah Toro (TROY) 6-1, 6-0
3. Lyubov Dorofeeva (TROY) def. Nagayama, Flavia (MT) 6-1, 6-4
4. Moraes, Nayara (MT) def. Anja Cosovic (TROY) 4-6, 6-0, 6-2
5. Nava, Carla (MT) def. Candela Munoz Giron (TROY) 6-7, 6-3, 6-4
6. Rosaura Ramirez-Vega (TROY) def. Torres, Alexandra (MT) 6-3, 6-0
1. Lyubov Dorofeeva/Karoline Grymel (TROY) def. Constantinide, Irina/Moraes, Nayara (MT) 8-1
2. Rosaura Ramirez-Vega/Hannah Toro (TROY) def. Nagayama, Flavia/Nomoto, Yuiri (MT) 8-4
3. Candela Munoz Giron/Anja Cosovic (TROY) vs. Nava, Carla/Torres, Alexandra (MT) 7-5, unfinished
Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.
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