Women’s tennis team defeats Auburn

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    The No. 21 women’s tennis team pulled away late with a tight 4-3 win over Auburn University on Sunday at Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center.

    With the win, the team’s spring record now stands at 3-2. It was the team’s second consecutive win over a top-25 opponent.

    The highlight of the day was a match between TCU junior Nina Munch-Soegaard, the No. 12 player in the country, and Auburn junior Fani Chifchieva, the No. 6 player in the country.

    Munch-Soegaard fell behind early in the match after dropping the first set, but convincingly won the second set to force a third. She rushed out to a 4-1 lead in the final set, but the match eventually went into a tiebreaker, where she finally topped Chifchieva, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (8-6). The win clinched the match for the Horned Frogs.

    The win put Munch-Soegaard at 5-0 in singles play, all against ranked players.

    Munch-Soegaard said the key to the Horned Frogs’ success for the rest of the season is to clinch the points in a more decisive manner.

    “It all comes down to practice and preparation before you go out on the court,” Munch-Soegaard said.

    Munch-Soegaard said it’s very tough to play against teams like Auburn that are very energetic and want to win.

    Munch-Soegaard and sophomore Maria Babanova, the 28th-ranked doubles team in the country who paired up for the first time this spring, earned an 8-6 win over Auburn’s duo of Chifchieva and senior Whitney Chappell in doubles play.

    The Horned Frogs clinched the doubles point when freshman Kayla Duncan and sophomore Katariina Tuohimaa battled to an 8-3 win against the Tigers’ pairing of junior Myrthe Molenveld and sophomore Dunja Djuranovic.

    Head coach Jefferson Hammond said matches against talented teams outside of the conference are beneficial when conference play rolls around.

    “The harder our opponents are in the non-conference, the easier our conference schedule seems to be at times,” Hammond said.

    Hammond said the most important thing for his team is to keep up the strong play and take care of its opportunities.

    The two-week break before North Carolina State University and Miami University visit Fort Worth on Feb. 21-22 will give the team adequate time to practice and prepare for the opponents, Hammond said.