Arizona Defeats New Mexico, 5-2, To Advance To NCAA Second Round
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- The 21st-ranked Arizona women's tennis team (10-11) earned a 5-2 victory over the No. 44 New Mexico Lobos (15-12) in the first round of the 2000 NCAA Championship Regionals, this afternoon (May 13) at Marks Tennis Stadium. With the win, the Wildcats advance to the second round to be played tomorrow (May 14) at 1 p.m.
The 5-2 outcome was hardly a reflection of the four-hour, twenty minute match which first began with a New Mexico victory at the No. 2 position. The Wildcats then returned to win the following four consecutive matches at the No. 3, 4, 5 and 6 spots, including a three-set victory when Arizona's Michelle Gough defeated Ashley Hedberg, 6-7, 7-6, 6-3, at the third court. Despite a 4-1 disadvantage, the Lobos were not ready to surrender the match. At center court, Ana Friganovic came back from a 5-3 deficit in the third set to force a tiebreaker where she eventually defeated Lindsay Blau, 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (7-4).
With a 4-2 score, Arizona was forced to head into doubles play to earn the winning point. As the three doubles matches began, the Lobos held leads at the No. 1 and 3 positions, but it was the Arizona duo of Blau and Uzma Khan that posted the first win to complete the match for the Wildcats.
"We are obviously very happy to get out of the first round," said Arizona head coach Brad Dancer. "New Mexico battled us real tough and we now look forward to getting the opportunity to face USC or UMBC in the finals tomorrow."
Arizona will face the winner of the USC-Maryland Baltimore County match which will begin at 4 p.m. this afternoon.
Final Score: Arizona 5, New Mexico 2
(1) Ana Friganovic (New Mexico) def. Lindsay Blau (Arizona) - 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (7-4)
(2) Natalia Alekhova (New Mexico) def. Vanessa Abel (Arizona) - 6-1, 6-4
(3) Michelle Gough (Arizona) def. Ashley Hedberg (New Mexico) - 6-7, 7-6, 6-3
(4) Uzma Khan (Arizona) def. Dominika Gerwin (New Mexico) - 6-3, 6-3
(5) Laresa Marino (Arizona) def. Neza Kurnik (New Mexico) - 6-1, 6-2
(6) Joanna Buczkowska (Arizona) def. Courtney Choate (New Mexico) - 6-1, 6-4
(1) Friganovic/Hedberg (New Mexico) vs. Abel/Gough (Arizona) - Incomplete
(2) Blau/Khan (Arizona) def. Gerwin/Pollock (New Mexico) - 8-3
(3) Alekhova/Kurnick (New Mexico) vs. Marino/Buczkowska (Arizona) - Incomplete