Nov. 5, 2010
NORMAN, Okla. - The University of Oklahoma women's tennis team split for action Friday, one OU doubles team competed in the quarterfinals at the USTA-ITA National Indoor Championships in New York while four Sooners finished day one at the Midwest Blast in Urbana, Ill.
OU's Ana-Maria Constantinescu and Alice Radu fell short against the nation's No. 1 doubles team Friday. Cal's Mari Andersson and Jana Juricova narrowly edged out the OU duo, 9-7, in the quarterfinals of the 2010 USTA-ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships.
"Alice and Ana really confirmed my belief that they will be one of the top doubles teams in the country this year," OU head coach David Mullins said. "They put themselves in a position to win today after just a few weeks of playing together. There is no doubt they will have a lot of success this spring."
The Sooners shined on day one of the Midwest Blast, going a combined 5-1 on the day. OU lost just one match in a tiebreaker.
In doubles, senior Maria Kalashnikova and freshman Whitney Ritchie defeated Illinois' Rachael White and Chelcie Abajian, 9-7, while Illinois' Leigh Finnegan and Allison Falkin narrowly defeated OU's Tara Eckel and Mia Lancaster in the tiebreaker, 9-8 (6).
"It is a lot of fun to see our doubles play keep improving," Mullins said. "We gave ourselves a chance to sweep doubles against Illinois' top two teams but could not convert on a few match points."
The Sooners closed day one strong in singles, winning all four matches against Memphis.
Ritchie added her seventh win of the fall season, defeating Memphis' Courtney Collins, 6-4, 7-5. OU's freshman is now 7-1 this fall.
"We started out playing some great tennis in singles against Memphis," Mullins said. "We showed a lot of toughness closing out some tight second sets."
Lancaster shut out Stehanie Mikesz of Memphis in the second set on Friday, winning the match, 6-4, 6-0.
Kalashnikova is now 6-3 this fall season, defeating Memphis' Kathleen Hawkins, 6-1, 6-4.
Eckel also picked up her sixth win this fall on Friday after topping Kelly Gray of Memphis, 6-4, 6-4.
The Sooners will continue competition at the Midwest Blast Saturday at 9:30 a.m., with doubles action against Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish finished the 2010 season as the No. 5 team in the country after advancing to the NCAA Championships semifinals last May. OU will follow doubles with singles play against Illinois at 1 p.m.
Day One Results
Maria Kalashnikova/Whitney Ritchie (OU) def. Rachael White/Chelcie Abajian (ILL), 9-7
Leigh Finnegan/Allison Falkin (ILL) def. Tara Eckel/Mia Lancaster (OU), 9-8 (6)
Whitney Ritchie (OU) def. Courtney Collins (MEM), 6-4, 7-5
Maria Kalashnikova (OU) def. Kathleen Hawkins (MEM), 6-1, 6-4
Mia Lancaster (OU) def. Stefanie Mikesz (MEM), 6-4, 6-0
Tara Eckel (OU) def. Kelly Gray (MEM), 6-4, 6-4