Tigers’ doubles play sets tone for match

Sunday, March 6, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 1:33 a.m. CDT, Thursday, July 17, 2008

The weekend couldn’t have gone better for the Missouri tennis team.

After beating Louisville 5-2 on Friday, the Tigers remained unbeaten at home by defeating Ohio State 5-2 on Saturday. The Tigers are 9-2 and 7-0 at Green Tennis Center.

“We’re starting to play pretty good ball right now,” Missouri coach Blake Starkey said. “You hit a certain point when it gets contagious.”

Jumping out to a strong start, the Tigers won the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles. Katka Sevcikova and Carolyn Kramer won 8-2 against Lindsey Adams and Caitlin O’Keefe in No. 1 doubles. The No. 3 doubles team of Hana Kraftova and Charlotte Bellis won 8-5 against Sonia Ruzimovsky and Kristin Messmer.

Needing three matches to win, the Tigers won four of six singles matches. Lubica Nadasska clinched the deciding match, defeating Messmer 6-2, 6-4.

Ohio State coach Chuck Merzbacher said Missouri’s relentlessness and depth were the keys to its success.

“We were up on several courts (in singles), but we needed to get those sets,” Merzbacher said. “They’re pretty tough at every spot. Starkey has a good team. They’re always coming at you. Every time I thought we had them down, they came back.”

The most relentless Tiger was Yelena Olshanskaya at No. 3 singles. Down 4-1 in the first set, Olshanskaya roared back to win ten consecutive games, defeating Meredith Vincent 6-4, 6-4.

“I wasn’t very consistent during the match, and it made the match tough,” Olshanskaya said. “I started out slow, but I was able to regroup and get more focused to get us the point.”

Olshanskaya’s effort proved vital to the win, but Coach Starkey said he was proud of all the Tigers’ effort.

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