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WTN: SMU Concludes Stellar Season With Loss to No. 4 Baylor At NCAA Championships

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SMU Concludes Stellar Season With Loss to No. 4 Baylor At NCAA Championships

WACO, Texas - SMU women's tennis (28-3) concluded the best season in program history with only their third loss to No. 4 Baylor (26-4) on Sunday, 4-2, May 10 at the Baylor Tennis Center, a season that included a rise to national prominence as the Mustangs recorded a Top 25 ranking and multiple program-bests including an 18-match win streak and 28 match victories.

"Before we headed out to the courts, we had a talk in the locker room. We made a goal of winning the doubles point to set the tone for the rest of the match, and in the process of accomplishing that goal we knocked down two nationally-ranked doubles tandems. I am especially pleased for Natalia (Bubien) and Pavi (Francis), who ended their doubles career on a high note," said head coach Lauren Longbotham-Meisner.

An intently focused Mustangs squad got down to business, handing Baylor only its sixth loss of the doubles point on the season. On court one, freshmen pair Marta Lesniak and Aleksandra Malyarchikova rose to the occasion against top 15 tandem No. 13 Broosova/Borsanyi, pounding out an 8-4 win, while the No. 71 duo of senior Natalia Bubien and junior Pavi Francis downed No. 65 Ormond/Stanivuk to give SMU the early match lead.

Recording the only singles win for the Mustangs, No. 59 Lesniak posted her 10th consecutive win (6-3, 7-5) of the season over No. 39 Taylor Ormond. "Marta really stepped it up against an exceptional opponent to keep us in the match; she looks forward to building on her success next season," said Longbotham-Meisner.

After pouncing on No. 44 Stanivuk in a first set defeat, No. 116 Malyarchikova relinquished her undefeated season to the Baylor Bear when Stanivuk rallied for the match victory (6-1, 6-2, 6-3) in the second and third sets, apparently unable to settle for anything less than a perfect shot. "Aleks played unbelievable tennis, and it took flawless play from Stanivuk to claim the win. She earned praise and respect from her opponents today," said Longbotham-Meisner.

At the end of the day, the Mustangs were able to walk away satisfied with their performance, despite the unsatisfying result. "When you go head to head with one of the best teams in the country on their home court with seemingly every advantage in their favor, you have to give everything you have. We left it all on those courts, and we can't be disappointed with that," said Longbotham-Meisner.

"The most important thing this team should understand is that they did not lose today, Baylor was just the better team. It is always tough to end with a loss, but we earned the right to end this amazing season with our heads held high," said Longbothan-Meisner.

With a collection of record-breaking performances and a multitude of team and individual accomplishments, the Mustangs are looking to the future and preparing to capitalize on their success in 2010.


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