Lady Tigers Upset No. 21 Notre Dame, 4-3
April 7, 2013
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The No. 36 University of Memphis women's tennis team (16-4) took down their second top-25 team of the season Sunday afternoon with a 4-3 win on the road over No. 21 Notre Dame (12-8).
"Notre Dame is a first class program," said head coach Lee Taylor Walker. "We were excited to play a team with such great players and great tradition. I'm so proud of the ladies for getting a top 25 road win. It's something very hard to do, but something that will give us lots of confidence during the postseason."
The Lady Tigers picked up the doubles point as Tiffany Welcher and Alyssa Hibberd defeated No. 52 Julie Sabacinski and Britney Sanders, 8-5, at No. 2 before No. 64 Stefanie Mikesz and Caroline Wegner outlasted Quinn Gleason and Julie Vrabel, 9-7, at No. 3 to win the point.
Memphis increased its lead to 3-0 as Wegner picked up a 6-1, 6-4 win at No. 6 over Katherine White while Welcher won 6-3, 6-1 over Quinn Gleason at No. 2.
Notre Dame tied it up at 3-all with wins at No. 1, 3 and 4 to make the match come down to court five between Hibberd and Molly O'Koniewski. At No. 4, Chrissie McGaffigan defeated Skylar Kuykendall, 7-6 (2), 6-3 to get the Fighting Irish their first point before Jennifer Kellner downed Liza Tymchenko, 7-6 (3), 6-4 at No. 3. At No. 1, No. 34 Courtney Collins fell to No. 48 Sanders, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4, to even the match.
Court five was an intense battle as Hibberd won the first set 7-6 (4) before O'Koniewski answered with a 7-6 (4) second set win. With the score tied at three in the final set, Hibberd opened up a 5-3 lead before O'Koniewski cut it to 5-4. However, Hibberd would get the final game to clinch the victory for Memphis with a 6-4 third set victory.
"Alyssa has been clutch for us all year," Walker said. "Her win today took a lot of resolve and determination, and I'm so proud of her improvement this entire year."
The Lady Tigers will look to avenge a 4-3 loss from earlier this season to conference rival Tulsa next Sunday at noon when Memphis faces the Golden Hurricane in Oklahoma.