DePaul Rallies To Beat Iowa, 4-3
Feb. 9, 2014
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Zaina Sufi's three-set triumph in the day's decisive match propelled No. 74 DePaul to a thrilling 4-3 win over Iowa on Sunday afternoon.
The Blue Demons improved to 6-1 with the win, while the Hawkeyes fell to 3-3. DePaul's victory came less than a day after the No. 74 Blue Demons topped No. 72 Oregon, 4-3, to improve to 4-1 against ranked opponents this season.
With the match tied, 3-3, Sufi and Katie Zordani battled to a third set tiebreaker in the No. 5 slot after the two split the first two sets (6-7, 6-4). Sufi went on to win the tiebreaker, 10-5, to give DePaul its fifth-straight win.
"Great job by Zaina today," head coach Mark Ardizzone said. "To play in a tiebreaker with the overall match tied at three is a tough experience. She has been a rock for us and continued that today."
Sufi is a perfect 6-0 in dual matches this year and 16-5 overall, dating back to the fall.
DePaul started off the day with a 1-0 lead by taking 2-of-3 doubles matches to secure the point. After the Blue Demons dropped the No. 3 match, Patricia Fargas and Ana Vladutu defeated Ruth Seaborne and Morven McColloch, 6-2, in the No. 1 match before Jasmin Kling and Kelsey Lawson handed Caitlin Hindmarsh and Zordani a 6-3 loss in the No. 2 match to earn the point.
In singles play, DePaul fell behind 3-2 after the Hawkeye's took three out of the first four matches. DePaul's lone win to start singles play came from Kling, who beat Hindmarsh handily in the No. 4 match, 6-2, 6-2. But Rebeca Mitrea kept the Blue Demons alive by rallying to beat Annette Dohanics in the No. 6 match, 6-4, 6-7, 10-7. Mitrea's win leveled the match at three, setting the stage for Sufi's showdown with Zordani.
"We beat a tough Iowa squad today on their home courts," Ardizzone said. "They will be a nationally-ranked program before the season's over.
"We got off to a great start today thanks to our top-two doubles. The Iowa kids are well-coached and they competed harder than anyone we have faced so far. I was really happy that we were able to sneak out the victory."
DePaul's next three matches come at home within a stretch of two days. On Saturday (Feb. 15), the Blue Demons face South Dakota State at 2 p.m. and then take on Milwaukee at 6 p.m. On Sunday, DePaul plays Michigan State at 1 p.m.
The three home matches are DePaul's last contests in Chicago until mid-April.