STILLWATER, Okla.- On its second day of hosting back-to-back top-five opponents, Oklahoma State’s women’s tennis team prevailed with a gutsy performance over fifth-ranked Pepperdine, 4-3, on Saturday afternoon at the Greenwood Tennis Center.
OSU finished the weekend with an impressive showcase of grit, extending its record to 17-4 overall and proving it belongs on college tennis’ biggest stage.
The Cowgirls struck first and grabbed the early advantage after claiming the doubles point behind a pair of victories on the first and third courts. The Cowgirls’ 14th-ranked tandem of Lisa Marie Rioux and Ayumi Miyamoto was in control from start to finish in a 6-1 rout of Taisiya Pachkaleva and Lisa Zarr.
Mhai Sawangkaew and Martina Zerulo battled but fell short against Pepperdine’s No. 52 duo of Shiori Fukuda and Savannah Broadus, 6-2.
Oona Orpana and Dariya Detkovskaya faced some early adversity on court three but never wavered, rattling off several impressive games to earn a 6-3 victory over the 51st-ranked duo in the nation, Janice Tjen, and Victoria Flores, clinching the doubles point for the Cowgirls.
Pepperdine immediately answered the doubles defeat with three consecutive points to start singles action. No. 46 Taisiya Pachkaleva defeated Oona Orpana, 6-3, 6-4, to get the Waves on the board. Pepperdine took the lead after the 84th-ranked Savannah Broadus beat Sofia Rojas, 6-2, 6-2. Then, Ayumi Miyamoto dropped a hard-fought contest to No. 103 Janice Tjen, 6-3, 6-4, extending Pepperdine’s lead to 3-1.
OSU countered with three-straight points of its own starting with the steady presence of 27th-ranked Lisa Marie Rioux. The senior capped off her storied career at the Greenwood Tennis Center by battling out a hard-fought first set, winning 7-5, then put her foot on the gas in the second set to power through 13th-ranked Shiori Fukuda of Pepperdine on court one, 7-5, 6-1.
After dropping the second set, freshman Mhai Sawangkaew refused to be denied. The freshman put on a show in the third set to take down 22nd-ranked Lisa Zarr, tying the match at three apiece.
The decision came down to court six, where Cowgirl Alana Wolfberg went toe to toe with No. 100 Nikki Redelijk. After splitting the first two sets, the third was a fight to finish. In a set that went point for point, Wolfberg put the team on her back with an unbelievable showing of toughness and resilience, prevailing in the third set, 7-6 (7-4), to clinch the match for OSU.
The Cowgirls will turn their attention to the postseason, with the Big 12 Women’s Tennis Championships slated for April 21-24 in Fort Worth, Texas.
1. # 27 Lisa Marie Rioux (WOSU22) def. # 13 Shiori Fukuda (PEPPW) 7-5, 6-1
2. # 51 Mhai Sawangkaew (WOSU22) def. # 22 Lisa Zarr (PEPPW) 6-3, 1-6, 6-2
3. # 46 Taisiya Pachkaleva (PEPPW) def. Oona Orpana (WOSU22) 6-3, 6-4
4. # 103 Janice Tjen (PEPPW) def. Ayumi Miyamoto (WOSU22) 6-3, 6-4
5. # 84 Savannah Broadus (PEPPW) def. Sofia Rojas (WOSU22) 6-2, 6-2
6. Alana Wolfberg (WOSU22) def. # 100 Nikki Redelijk (PEPPW) 7-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5)
1. # 14 Lisa Marie Rioux/Ayumi Miyamoto (WOSU22) def. Taisiya Pachkaleva / Lisa Zarr (PEPPW) 6-1
2. # 54 Shiori Fukuda / Savannah Broadus (PEPPW) def. # 52 Mhai Sawangkaew /Martina Zerulo (WOSU22) 6-2
3. Oona Orpana/Dariya Detkovskaya (WOSU22) def. # 51 Janice Tien / Victoria Flores (PEPPW) 6-3