Provo, UT (Apr. 27, 2002) UNLV upset regular season champion SDSU 4-2 in the finals of the MWC Women's Tennis Championships, Saturday.
The Rebels took the early lead winning the doubles point, then conference Freshman of the Year Gyorgyi Zsiros extended her team's advantage to 2-0 with her 6-1, 6-3 straight sets victory over SDSU's Lindsey Hedberg. For a time it looked like UNLV had control of the match with a 3-0 lead after the win at the number three singles match. But SDSU's and MWC Player of the Year Silvia Tornier battled back and stayed focus in her number one singles match to defeat UNLV's Pauline Janus 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 sparking an Aztecs comeback. Then it was SDSU's Kataline Romero's victory in the number four singles that continued to give her team hope. But in the end it was UNLV's number five singles player Leentjie Oosthuizen who beat Katey Becker 6-2, 6-0 for the Rebels victory. UNLV head coach Kevin Cory picked up MWC Coach of the Year honors.
The 19th ranked UNLV team will now represent the Mountain West Conference at this year's NCAA Women's Tennis Championships that begin on May 16 in Palo Alto, California. San Diego State, ranked 28th along with the Cougars who are ranked 44th and New Mexico who finished the year ranked 55th nationally must wait until next Wednesday to see if they will be invited to the NCAA Regional tournaments for a chance to participate in this year's national championships.
In the match for fifth place it was Air Force's Ashlee Gee who came through once again for her team lifting the Falcons 4-3 over Utah.
With the match all tied up at 3-3 it was all up to Gee who was playing the number six singles spot. She defeated Utah's Allison Hansen 6-1, 6-0 for the win. Air Force took another early 3-0 lead with solid play in doubles and wins at number one and three singles. Utah came back picking up two singles points from victories at the number four and five singles to close the match at 3-2. The score was tied up again at 3-3 with Utah's win at the number four singles where Cassie Kasteler picked up the straight sets win over Kelli O' Bryant. At the number five singles it was the Utes' Irini Kotoglou defeating the Falcons' Gina Black in straight sets 6-3, 6-2.
-AGATE- UNLV-4; SDSU-2
1. Silvia Tornier (SDSU) def Pauline Janus (UNLV) 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
2. Gyorgyi Zsiros (UNLV) def Lindsey Hedberg (SDSU) 6-1, 6-3
3. Agnieszka Abram (UNLV) def Katya Karrento (SDSU) 7-6, 6-3
4. Katalina Romero (SDSU) def Tracie Chong (UNLV) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
5. Leentjie Oosthuizen (UNLV) def Katey Becker (SDSU) 6-2, 6-0
6. Marianne Bakken (UNLV) Indra Erichsen (SDSU) DNF
1. Janus/Abram (UNLV) def Karrento/Romero (SDSU) 8-4
2. Erichsen/Tornier (SDSU) Bakken/Zsiros (UNLV) DNF
3. Chong/Oosthuizen (UNLV) def Hedberg/Chidley (SDSU) 8-5
1. Brooke Parsons (AF) def Sheri Esrock (UU) 5-7, 6-1 (10-6)
2. Linn Ronnberg (UU) def Laura Nigro (AF) 7-6, 6-1
3. Heather Shelby (AF) def Ellen Svensson (UU) 4-6, 6-1 (10-6)
4. Cassie Kasteler (UU) def Kelli O'Bryant (AF) 6-1, 6-1
5. Irini Kotoglou (UU) def Gina Black (AF) 6-3, 6-2
7. Ashley Gee (AF) def Allison Hansen (UU) 6-1, 6-0
4. Parsons/Nigro (AF) def Kotoglou/Nigro (UU) 8-1
5. Shelby/Black (AF) Svensson/Kastler (UU) DNF
6. Gee/O'Bryant (AF) def ronnberg/Esrock (UU) 8-2