Jogasuria and Pantusart Fall in NCAA Doubles Round of 32
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URBANA, Ill. – The University of Akron doubles team of Angelina Jogasuria and Prang Pantusart lost 6-0, 6-1 to Tennessee's Brynn Boren and Kata Szekely in the NCAA Championship opening round of 32 on Thursday afternoon.
The UA pair is ranked No. 42 nationally in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll, while the UT players represent the bracket's four seed and own the ITA's No. 5 ranking.
"I am at a bit of a loss for words right now about the match," third-year Zips head coach Brandon Padgett said. "Angelina and Prang picked a terrible time to play their worst match of the year. Regardless of the opponent or the horrendous conditions, you simply cannot play a match scared and tentative, and that's what they did today. Their preparation for the match was excellent, and they were more than ready physically. It became a mental battle for them, that they just could not find a way to get past."
The Zips duo, which suffered its only dual-match loss of the season, was one of 11 automatic qualifiers in the NCAA field. The defeat dropped their record to 18-1 against dual-match competition and 19-2 overall this season.
"We knew that Ina and Prang belonged here, and it is disappointing to end the season this way," Padgett said. "They worked so hard all season to get to this point, however, this has been an experience that we as coaches, and they as players, will not soon forget."
Pantusart and Jogasuria are the first Zips doubles team to qualify for the NCAA's individual tournament, but UA has been represented in the NCAA Championships in each of the last three seasons. In 2010, Zara Harutyunyan was the first player in school history to qualify for the NCAA Singles Championship, and the program earned the Mid-American Conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Team Championship in 2011 and 2012 as the league tournament champion.
"These two young ladies are leaving this program after having accomplished something that had never been done before in the history of Akron tennis," Padgett said. "I told them early in the spring that if they wanted to qualify for the NCAA Championship in doubles, they would likely have to win all of their matches during the spring, and that is exactly what they did. They accepted that challenge head on, and amazed us as coaches at every turn. We are extremely proud of them both, and certainly wish their season had ended on a better note."
Pantusart was a First-Team All-MAC and Academic All-MAC selection this season, and ends her career ranked second all-time in program history in combined victories with 208 (99 singles, 109 doubles). Jogasuria was also a first-team all-league pick and closes out her career ranked third all-time in program history in combined victories with 201 (99 singles, 102 doubles).
"We will not let this loss overshadow their phenomenal season, and the outstanding accomplishments that they achieved as members of the Akron tennis family," Padgett said. "They have left an amazing legacy, and their mark on this program is indelible. They are Zips forever, and I could not be more proud to have been granted the opportunity to be their coach for the past three seasons, and forever their friend."
The Zips closed the team portion of their season with an 18-10 record and advanced to the MAC tournament's semifinal round for the fourth-straight season and fourth time in program history, losing 4-2 to Bowling Green on April 27.