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Sooners Dealt First Loss
February 07, 2009

Feb. 7, 2009

TUSCALOOSA, Ala.--The University of Oklahoma women's tennis team (2-1) fell to Alabama (4-0) in a close head-to-head match Saturday, 4-2.

The Sooners fell behind 3-0 after the Crimson Tide claimed the doubles point and first two singles points.  OU rallied behind sophomores Ana-Maria Constantinescu and Maria Kalashnikova, to win the next two singles points, bringing the dual score to 3-2.  Alabama's Taylor Lindsay then defeated OU freshman Marie-Pier Huet, 6-4, 6-7, 6-1, to clinch the dual for the Crimson Tide.

"We fought extremely hard today and we were just a couple of good sets away from an outstanding win," head coach Dave Mullins said. "Alabama has a very good team this year and I was very proud of how we hung in there."

Constantinescu and Kalashnikova, although only sophomores, showed their experience in singles action. Constantinescu, ranked No. 98 nationally, continued her success at the No. 1 singles position.  The sophomore standout defeated Alabama's Tiffany Welcher, ranked No. 72 nationally, 7-5, 6-3. Kalashnikova fell behind in her first set against Alabama's Paulina Bigos, 2-6, but came back in the next two sets, 6-3, 6-1, to claim the win.

"Maria (Kalashnikova) made a tremendous comeback and changed the whole complexion of the match," Mullins said.

The loss is OU's first of the season after sweeping its first two matches against Texas-Pan American and Arkansas-Little Rock, 7-0, 7-0. 

Continuing their long stretch of road matches on Sunday, Feb. 15, the Sooners head to Wichita, Kan., to face Wichita State.

Alabama 4, Oklahoma 2
Doubles
1. Welcher/McLane (UA) def. Constantinescu/Eckel (OU) 8-4
2. Bigos/Lindsey (UA) def. Kalashnikova/Huet (OU) 8-4
3. Lancaster/Radan (OU) led Emery/Tunaru (UA) 6-4, DNF
Order of Finish: 1,2

Singles
1. Ana-Maria Constantinescu (OU) def. Tiffany Welcher (UA) 7-5, 6-3
2. Courtney McLane (UA) def. Kristina Radan (OU) 6-3, 6-0
3. Maria Kalashnikova (OU) def. Paulina Bigos (UA) 2-6, 6-3, 6-1
4. Meritt Emery (UA) def. Tara Eckel (OU) 6-1, 6-1
5. Shelley Godwin (UA) led Peta Maree Lancaster (OU) 7-6(2), 6-7(4), 2-0, DNF
6. Taylor Lindsey (UA) def. Marie-Pier Huet (OU) 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-1
Order of Finish: 4,2,1,3,6*

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