Women Win Consolation Bracket and Place 5th at WCC
LMU women's tennis earns two wins over Portland and San Francisco to place 5th overall
April 23, 2011
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The West Coast Conference Tournament wrapped up this afternoon at the Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego, Calif. The Lions finished 5th, after falling on the first day to Pepperdine, the Lions made a two day surge recording victories over Portland and then San Francisco to win the consolation bracket and place 5th overall.
While on the first day, the Lions dropped to top ranked Pepperdine they were already showing competitive play with close doubles matches and possible wins from April Bisharat and Elisaveta Pironkova in singles against the Waves. The Lions were able to keep this momentum in their early morning 8:00am match against Portland on Friday. The Lions came back with a solid 4-1 victory over Portland to advance into the finals of the consolation bracket against San Francisco.Against Portland, the Lions earned two wins on courts one and two to secure the doubles point. April Bisharat and Melissa Valenzuela went 8-3 over Fuchs/Fuchs of Portland while Elisavta Pironkova and Reka Rohonyi defeated Hoath/Pflibsen 8-4. In singles the Lions earned wins from April Bisharat, Reka Rohonyi and Elisaveta Pironkova to earn the overall win. Bisharat shut out Stephanie Fuchs of Portland 6-0, 6-0 to earn a solid singles win. Rohonyi also won handily going 6-2, 6-3 over Tucker. Finally Pironkova battled in a close first set to prevail over Gorence 7-5, 6-2 for the win.
On the final day of the tournament, the Lions defeated San Francisco 5 to 2 to place fifth overall. The Lions and the Don's battled it out for a full seven point match, which is rare for a championship tournament format which is structured so that the first team to reach four points wins the match and the other matches that are on the courts are stopped.
The Lions started with a convincing win in doubles from April Bisharat and Melissa Valenzuela who set the stage by defeating Hashuguchi/Duriez of USF 8-0 at the number one doubles spot. Miya Jin and Shauna Morgan then secured the doubles point for the Lions, on court three with an 8-5 win over Akerbrant/Gaitan of USF. With these two doubles wins on courts one and three, the Lions took the early lead over the Dons.
In singles, April Bisharat once again led the Lions earning their first singles victory and their second point on the day over the Dons. Bisharat handily defeated Wartenburger 6-0, 6-2 on court one for the victory. Freshman Miya Jin earned a win on court three for the Lions defeating Gratian of USF 6-1, 6-2. The Lions now stood 3-0 over the Dons and were looking for one more point to seal the win. However, USF came back earning two back-to-back points. LMU's Melissa Valenzuela fell 6-2, 6-0 on court two to give USF there first point and then Estelle LaPorte fought off a close second set on court five but could not hold off Mekpoh and USF earned their second point.
The match then came down to courts five and six where Reka Rohonyi and Elisaveta Pironkova battled out long singles sets to try and earn the Lions the win. Both Rohonyi and Pironkova came out with the wins, uniquely finishing simultaneous on their individual courts making the final score and win for LMU 5 - 2. Rohonyi defeated Hashiguchi of USF 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 on court four while Pironkova defeated McMahon 7-5, 7-5.
With this strong finish, the Lions finished fifth overall and battled through to play a tough competitive match, on the last morning of the tournament, to win the consolation bracket. Meanwhile, the Pepperdine women's tennis team avenged its loss in last year's West Coast Conference Women's Tennis Championship, presented by the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education with a 4-2 win over No. 1 seed San Diego. Saint Mary's placed third while Santa Clara finished fourth, LMU fifth, San Francisco 6th, followed by Portland 7th and Gonzaga 8th.
LMU 4 - Portland 1