Cowgirl Netters Fall to Texas

STILLWATER, Okla. – The No. 57 Oklahoma State women’s tennis team scored two points in singles play and took two other matches to tiebreakers to determine the winners, but lost at home for the first time this year to No. 36 Texas, 5-2, Friday at the DeBois Tennis Complex.

The Cowgirls, now 8-5 overall and 2-3 in Big 12 Conference play, were competitive throughout the match, but weren’t able to earn the team win.

“I’m proud of the girls for the way they competed,” coach Chris Young said. “As a coach, you want the kids to compete hard and that’s what our girls did. I can accept losses when the kids really lay it out there on the line. We’ve made a lot of improvements as a program and that really shows in a match like today. Now we’ve just got to be at a point where we believe we can win these types of matches.”

The match started with the doubles competition, where Nataliya Shatkovskaya and Sasha Belova highlighted OSU’s doubles performance at the No. 1 spot. The duo fell short in their upset bid against Texas’ No. 47-ranked Vanja Corovic and Aeriel Ellis, but came back from an early deficit to force a close finish.

“I think they were down 7-3 and came back to tie it at 7-7,” Young said. “Our girls can compete with anybody, but they’ve got to stay aggressive. They got emotional in that match and started doing too much. Those girls, when they play doubles the way it’s meant to be played, are a tough team to beat.”

After losing three doubles matches, the Cowgirls were down, 1-0, entering singles play.

lost the No. 6 line to begin singles play, but then Shatkovskaya came through with a big win at the No. 2 spot, upsetting Texas’ 60th-ranked Corovic in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2.

“I’m feeling pretty good for beating her in singles,” Shatkovskaya said. “We were pretty close as teams, one through four, and we could have maybe won the match, but we were just a little off.”

After Texas scored another point at No. 5 singles to go up, 3-1, the Cowgirls needed to win at all three remaining matches (No. 1, 3 and 4) to win the dual.

Alisa Buslaieva and Sasha Belova were both facing ranked opponents at No. 1 and 3 singles against Texas’ No. 28-ranked Aeriel Ellis and No. 46-ranked Krista Damico, respectively.

The No. 1 match finished first as Buslaieva lost a second-set tiebreaker to give Ellis a, 6-2, 7-6(7), win and the Longhorns the deciding fourth team point.

Belova then fell to Damico in a third-set tiebreaker, 4-6, 7-6(6), 1-0(10-6), while Sarah Meghoufel closed out the match for the Cowgirls with a, 6-3, 6-7(1), 1-0(10-7), win at No. 4 singles to bring the final score to 5-2, Texas.

The Cowgirls resume play April 6, facing Tulsa at 2 p.m. in the fourth match of a five-match home stand. Admission to all home Cowgirl tennis matches is free.

No. 36 Texas 5, No. 57 Oklahoma State 2
April 2, 2010 – DeBois Tennis Complex – Stillwater, Okla.

No. 1 – #47 Vanja Corovic/Aeriel Ellis (Texas) def. Sasha Belova/Nataliya Shatkovskaya (), 9-7
No. 2 – Amanda Craddock/Krista Damico (Texas) def. Sarah Meghoufel/Malika Rose (), 8-5
No. 3 – Sarah Lancaster/Caroline Larsson (Texas) def. Alisa Buslaieva/Alexandra Cristello (), 8-4

Order of finish: 3, 1, 2

No. 1 – #28 Aeriel Ellis (Texas) def. Alisa Buslaieva (), 6-2, 7-6(7)
No. 2 – Nataliya Shatkovskaya () def. #60 Vanja Corovic (Texas), 6-2, 6-2
No. 3 – #46 Krista Damico (Texas) def. Sasha Belova (), 4-6, 7-6(6), 1-0(10-6)
No. 4 – Sarah Meghoufel () def. Caroline Larsson (Texas), 6-3, 6-7(1), 1-0(10-7)
No. 5 – Sarah Lancaster (Texas) def. Malika Rose (), 6-3, 6-1
No. 6 – Maggie Mello (Texas) def. Alexandra Cristello (), 6-2, 6-1

Order of finish: 6, 2, 5, 1*, 3, 4

Updated 04-03-2010

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