After four weekends on the road and three cases of the stomach bug causing practice to be cancelled all week, the TCU women’s tennis team beat No. 62 University of South Florida 5-2 at home on Friday night.
The night started out with three doubles matches followed by six intense matches of singles.
TCU dominated in doubles, winning all of its matches. The first doubles team won 6-2, the second double won 6-1 and the last double’s match ended with in a 4-4 tie.
In singles, TCU went 4-2.
The tournament ended in an intense match between TCU sophomore Sofiko Kadzhaya and USF’s Olga Martinez. While Martinez’s pink hair bow did not reflect her aggressive playing style, Kadzhaya’s hard work was evident through her emotional post-game interview of sweat and tears.
Kadzhaya lost the first set 4-6 and lost the second set 6-7 in the tiebreaker. Night had fallen as teammates surrounded the last moments of Kadzhaya and Martinez’s extensive match. Sweat dripped from their faces after playing for almost two and half hours before Martinez made the winning point.
Another highlight of the night included an intense singles match between TCU freshman Palina Dubavets and USF’s Jessica Cortes Chaves. The two players were still on their first set when other matches had already finished.
Dubavets won the first set 7-5, leaving Cortes with little mental endurance for the rest of the match as proven by the second set’s score of 6-1.
“It was obvious the girl was kind of deflated,” said TCU coach Lee Taylor Walker. “If you can raise your level when they are down, then you can take advantage of it. And that’s what Palina did.”
As TCU reaches the end of its non-conference season and approaches Big 12 play, Walker said, “We call this little phase our confidence building phase.”
TCU’s next tournament is against North Texas on Wednesday.