DePaul falls to No. 42 USF in BIG EAST Semifinals
April 30, 2011
NOTRE DAME Ind. – The DePaul women’s tennis team suffered its first BIG EAST Championship semifinals loss in three seasons when No. 42 and second seeded USF topped the third seeded Blue Demons 4-0 at Notre Dame’s Ecks Tennis Center on Saturday. DePaul plays fifth seeded Marquette for third place on Sunday at Noon (ET).
Every match between the Blue Demons and Bulls was highly contested as there were no easy points in the rematch of the 2010 BIG EAST semifinal.
“We got beat by a better team today,” head coach Mark Ardizzone said after the nearly four hour match.
“The doubles point was huge and USF played great. I am so proud of our team and they way they battled. We win and lose with class,” Ardizzone added.
The dual was supposed to be played outdoors, but it was forced indoors due to high winds.
DePaul dropped the doubles match on the first court before the Blue Demons’ third team of Christiana Raymond and Cali Gustafson won the last two games to even the doubles score at one match apiece. Gustafson and Raymond topped the USF team of Kate Parker and Alessandra Bonte 8-4
All eyes turned to Gia McKnight and Kelsey Lawson on the second court. The Blue Demons pair was battling with the USF pair of Irene Rehberger and Ecaterina Vasenina. With the match tied at six, McKnight and Lawson broke the Bulls serve, but USF would go on to win the match 9-7.
With the match moved inside and the teams only using three court, DePaul’ top three singles players – Katarina Milinkovic, McKnight and Lawson took center stage.
USF went up 2-0 with a win on the third position which allowed Christiana Raymond and Loreto Alonso Martinez to begin their match in the fourth position.
McKnight battled No. 84 Ecaterina Vasenina for every point, but the junior was unable to prevail as she fell 7-6 (2), 7-6 (3).
Milinkovic had pushed her match into a third set with No. 44 Rehberger, who had taken the first stanza 6-4. The Blue Demon senior won the second set 6-3 and was up 5-2 in the final stanza before Rehberger won the last five games which sealed the USF victory.
The Bulls play Notre Dame for the BIG EAST Championship Sunday morning while DePaul plays Marquette at Noon for third place.
No. 42 USF 4, DePaul 0