April 11, 2014
UIC 4, Detroit 3
DETROIT - The UIC women's tennis team (7-10, 4-1 HL) edged by Detroit (8-7, 3-3 HL) on Friday with a 4-3 win at the Titan Tennis Courts. After falling in doubles, the Flames came back in singles to take four wins, with junior Keti Mebuke taking a grueling three-set victory to decide the match.
UIC could not collect the first point of the day as it fell in the two finished matches. Seniors Kathryn Sharples and Mariana Palacios were defeated at No. 1 by Viktoria Laskutova and Nino Sujashvili, 8-5, as senior Natalia Kuvakina and Mebuke also dropped an 8-5 decision at No. 3 to Valery Kulikovskaya and Anna Davydova.
The Flames got into trouble after beginning singles with two losses, but rebounded by claiming the remaining four matches to take the win.
Sharples produced the first win of the day for UIC at No. 1 by taking down Laskutova, 6-1, 6-4, for her fourth win at the position this season. Senior Jana Knoppe then came away with a straight-set win at No. 4 against Davydova, 6-4, 6-2, for her 13th straight.
Palacios battled back from falling in her first set against Irina Slizovskaya to take a 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 win for her sixth this season at No. 2. The deciding win for the Flames came at No. 5, where Mebuke took the first set before dropping the tiebreaker in the second and taking the third to extras to finally claim the 6-2, 6-7 (7), 7-5 victory over Julia Fernandes.
The two losses in singles for UIC came at No. 3, where Kuvakina fell to Kulikovskaya, 6-0, 6-3, and at No. 6, where sophomore Ann-Sophie Hahn suffered a 6-3, 6-1 loss to Elena Strakhova.
The Flames will now make the short trip to Rochester, Mich., where they are scheduled to face Oakland at 3:30 p.m. CT on Saturday at Bloomfield Tennis.