No. 25 DePaul Tops No. 42 Florida International in Miami
MIAMI - DePaul's match with No. 42 Florida International started with the sun bearing down on the FIU Tennis Courts and finished under the lights with the No. 25 Blue Demons walking away with a tough 4-2 victory.
"Today we proved that we can play outside and play well," head coach Mark Ardizzone said following his team's 11 win of the season. "We are quickly dispelling a lot of rumors that we are not so good outside.
"I am incredibly proud of my team today; to win a match outside and after a long rain delay shows how tough theses players are," Ardizzone added.
Today's match between the Blue Demons (11-3) and Panthers (10-7) was scheduled to start at 1 p.m. (CST) but did not start until after 5 p.m. and finished as dusk settled over the Miami area.
As the sun set on the day, the Florida International players, played with their hearts on their selves as Thursday evening one of their fellow student-athletes-- football player Kendall Berry was murdered.
"Hats off to FIU on a really tough day -- everyone here had their hearts elsewhere, but the Florida International players really competed and I cannot say enough about how hard they played today," Ardizzone commented.
As the rain stopped and the teams settled into their matches, the number 13 ranked pair of Anna Redecsi and Selma Salkovic quickly disposed of Liset Brito and Priscilla Castillo 8-1 in the number one match.
The last two doubles matches went to a tiebreaker and finished one after another. FIU won the second match but DePaul's Kirsten Gambrell and Gia McKnight topped Christine Seredni and Maria Jose Vallasciani 9-8 (1) to secure the doubles point for the Blue Demons.
Like in doubles action the number one match finished first, but this time FIU was on the winning end as No. 84 Liset Brito topped No. 120 Redecsi 6-1, 6-1 which evened the match at one apiece.
Katarina Milinkovic and McKnight quickly gave the Blue Demons a 3-1 lead in the number four and five spots, respectively. Milinkovic blanked Proscila Castillo, 6-0, 6-0 for her second win of the weekend.
After not playing in Thursday's match at Florida Atlantic, McKnight did not miss a beat and dominated Maria Dolores Pazo 6-2, 6-4.
"Gia (McKnight) did a great job in doubles and then followed through in singles." Ardizzone said of his sensational sophomore. "She came out and really fought tonight."
FIU won the number six match but, Salkovic clinched the Blue Demon win with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Christine Seredni.
Today's dual closed out a 12-match road swing for the Blue Demons. DePaul returns to the Lakeshore Athletic Club next week and hosts BIG EAST rivals Cincinnati on April 2 and West Virginia on April 3.
DePaul 4, Florida International 2