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WTN: Lamar Battles Past Host Islanders, to Meet UTSA Saturday

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Lamar Battles Past Host Islanders, to Meet UTSA Saturday


CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – No. 2 Lamar defeated No. 7 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 4-1, to advance into the semifinal round of the Southland Conference Women’s Tennis Championship on Friday at the HEB Tennis Center. But the score wasn’t entirely indicative of the tremendous effort put forth by the entire roster for both teams in a match that lasted more than five hours.


With a pair of matches in the midst of second-set tiebreakers, the Lady Cardinals closed out the match with wins at Nos. 1, 2 and 6 singles after taking the win in the best-of-three doubles round, and they will move on to face No. 3 UTSA Saturday at noon. Lamar previously beat UTSA, 4-3, in the teams’ first and only matchup of the season in March.


Friday’s women’s quarterfinal started with a trio of doubles bouts that each lasted at least 12 games, including a pair of 14-game affairs. Lamar sent Mariaryeni and Maria Gutierrez to the court in the No. 1 match and took a quick, 1-0 lead with an 8-4 win. The Islanders No. 3 duo of Nina Ciric and Fabiana Mersan then won an 8-6 affair to force a decisive match at No. 2. Manijee Ashrafi and Salina Aranda stepped up in the rubber match, taking down Erika Iriarte and Alexandra Dyckman in an 8-6 thriller, the first of many battles on the day.


A&M-Corpus Christi tallied its first and only point at No. 5 singles when Pernelle Soulie defeated Manami Kuroda in the first of two three-set battles 6-2, 2-6, 6-4.


Lamar won a three-setter of its own win Salina Aranda rallied back from a first-set, tiebreak defeat to win the last two sets 6-2, 6-2. The Gutierrez duo then won at Nos. 1 and 2 to leave the Nos. 3 and 4 matches unfinished.



Match Two Results

No. 2. Lamar def. No. 7 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 4-1

Apr 24, 2009 at Corpus Christi, Texas


Singles competition:
1. Mariaryeni Gutierrez (LU-W) def. Mirna Cicak (AMCC-W) 7-6, 6-4
2. Maria Gutierrez (LU-W) def. Nina Ciric (AMCC-W) 6-2, 6-2
3. Carla Nava (LU-W) vs. Erika Iriarte (AMCC-W) 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 3-2, unfinished
4. Manijee Ashrafi (LU-W) vs. Alexandra Dyckman (AMCC-W) 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 3-4, unfinished
5. Pernelle Soulie (AMCC-W) def. Manami Kuroda (LU-W) 6-2, 2-6, 6-4
6. Salina Aranda (LU-W) def. Megan Harless (AMCC-W) 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-2

Doubles competition:
1. Mariaryeni Gutierrez/Maria Gutierrez (LU-W) def. Mirna Cicak/Megan Harless (AMCC-W) 8-4
2. Manijee Ashrafi/Salina Aranda (LU-W) def. Erika Iriarte/Alexandra Dyckman (AMCC-W) 8-6
3. Nina Ciric/Fabiana Mersan (AMCC-W) def. Carla Nava/Manami Kuroda (LU-W) 8-6

Match Notes:
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (,6)



Post-match Quotes

Lamar Head Coach – David Wong


"I'm really proud of both teams, it was a very hard fought match.  I knew that was

going to be the case because they are a very well coached team."


"I'm proud of the girls for coming out ahead today, they fought really hard and it

was tough because both teams are really good but only one can win."


"Both teams were cramping because of all the heart and effort they put into the match."



Lamar Player – Senior Maria Gutierrez:


“I think what makes us a good team is that everybody fights, even though we lost a

match, all three sets were in tiebreak and that is really tough.”


"Everybody was fighting hard, some matches were down a set but they came back to

force a third set.  It was really tough but I felt like we deserved to win after all

the hard work this year."



A&M-Corpus Christi Head Coach – Steve Moore


"A team can't fight any harder than we fought. I'm incredibly proud of the way these

girls competed with such extra special heart today."


"I'm especially proud of the seniors, their incredible hard work and determination

lifted this program up an entire level, and the culture of hard work and team work

that they established makes the future very bright for this program."


"I really credit Lamar, this was an absolute battle, as close as you can get, every

match was incredibly close coming down to the wire."


"I will remember the heart that seniors Erika Iriarte and Alexandra Dyckman showed

as long as I'm a coach."


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