March 11, 2012

Nationally-Ranked Tennis Scores 5-2 Victory over New Mexico

SEDONA, Ariz. – The nationally-ranked University of Akron tennis team competed for the first time in two weeks on Sunday and topped New Mexico 5-2 on a neutral court outdoors at Red Rocks High School. 

On a Spring Break trip to the state of Arizona for a pair of matches, the 65th-ranked Zips improved to 13-1 on the season. Today's match was scheduled to be played at Continental Country Club in Flagstaff, Ariz., but due to high winds and cool temperatures the contest was moved approximately 30 miles south to Sedona.

Despite the venue change and playing in 4,000-plus feet of elevation, the Zips disposed of the Lobos with relative ease.

UA won at all three doubles positions to earn the early one-point edge. In order, Angelika Jogasuria and Natalia Kuvakina defeated Nikolina Grbac and Maria Sablina 8-5 at No. 2, while Angelina Jogasuria and Olga Shkundina won 8-5 at No. 3 over Kristin Eggleston and Michaela Oldanito to clinch the point. At No. 1, Zara Harutyunyan and Prang Pantusart, ranked 53rd nationally, got the best of Michaela Besdickova and Alyssa Caffey, 8-5.

New Mexico (5-5) claimed its two points with victories at first and second singles. At No. 1, Besdickova caught Harutyunyan 7-6 (5), 6-1. At No. 2, it was Susanna Kuuttila over Shkundina, 6-2, 6-2.

The Zips won at Nos. 3-6 singles in straight sets, losing no more than two games in all but two of those eight sets.

At No. 3 Pantusart won 6-4, 6-0 over Eggleston, at No. 4 it was Angelina Jogasuria over Sablina 6-3, 6-0, at No. 5 Ksenia Berestetska won 6-2, 6-2 over Katie Wookey and Kuvakina downed Grbac 6-2, 6-2 at No. 6.

"For our first effort in these conditions this season, I think we played solid tennis," second-year Akron head coach Brandon Padgett said. "But we need to make quicker and better adjustments when we are playing outdoors."

Akron returns to the court on Monday at 3 p.m. ET (noon MST) to face Northern Arizona.

Zips Notebook:
UA's 53rd-ranked No. 1 singles team of Zara Harutyunyan and Prang Pantusart improved to 12-0 versus dual-match competition this season ... the Zips and Lobos met for the first time on the tennis court ... freshman Olga Shkundina's loss at No. 1 singles was the first of her collegiate career. She had won 13-straight dual singles matches entering the day ... after opening the dual-match schedule with 10-consecutive wins at No. 1 singles, Zara Harutyunyan has lost three in a row ... the Zips have won the doubles point in 12 of 14 overall matches this season and in 11 of their last 12 outings.

No. 65 Akron 5, New Mexico 2

Doubles
1. (53) Zara Harutyunyan/Prang Pantusart (Akron) def. Michaela Besdickova/Alyssa Caffey (UNM) 8-4
2. Angelika Jogasuria/Natalia Kuvakina (Akron) def. Nikolina Grbac/Maria Sablina (UNM) 8-5
3. Angelina Jogasuria/Olga Shkundina (Akron) def. Kristin Eggleston/Michaela Oldani (UNM) 8-5

Singles

1. Michaela Besdickova (UNM) def. Zara Harutyunyan (Akron) 7-6 (5), 6-1
2. Susanna Kuuttila (UNM) def. Olga Shkundina (Akron) 6-2, 6-2
3. Prang Pantusart (Akron) def. Kristin Eggleston (UNM) 6-4, 6-0
4. Angelina Jogasuria (Akron) def. Maria Sablina (UNM) 6-3, 6-0
5. Ksenia Berestetska (Akron) def. Katie Wookey (UNM) 6-2, 6-2
6. Natalia Kuvakina (Akron) def. Nikolina Grbac (UNM) 6-2, 6-2

Order of finish:

Doubles – 2, 3, 1
Singles – 3, 2, 4, 6, 5, 1

Team records:

Akron – 13-1
New Mexico – 5-5