SMU Falls To Tulsa In Title Match

via SMU

DALLAS (SMU) – After rolling through the American Athletic Conference tournament and building a nine-match win streak, SMU Women’s Tennis (17-9, 6-5 American) dropped the championship match, 4-0, to No. 2-seed Tulsa Saturday on home courts.



SMU’s finish as the conference runner-up marks its best finish since joining the American Athletic Conference in 2014. It ties the Mustangs’ best finish in conference play since winning the Conference-USA title in 2009.

DALLAS, TX - APRIL 21: Tiffany Hollebeck during the SMU women's tennis match vs Tulsa on April 21, 2018, at the SMU Tennis Complex, Turpin Stadium & Brookshire Family Pavilion in Dallas, TX. (Photo by George Walker/DFWsportsonline)

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DALLAS, TX - APRIL 21: Tiffany Hollebeck during the SMU women's tennis match vs Tulsa on April 21, 2018, at the SMU Tennis Complex, Turpin Stadium & Brookshire Family Pavilion in Dallas, TX. (Photo by George Walker/DFWsportsonline)

The Mustangs fell just short of the doubles point after forging a valiant comeback at No. 1. SMU fell on court three, but Tiffany Hollebeck and Anzhelika Shapovalova paired for their 11th win of the spring at the second position to turn attention to the center court. After trailing 0-3, Karina Traxler and Sarai Monarrez Yesakibattled to tie the set at 5-5. The duo lost a heartbreaker to No. 74 Ksenia Laskutova/Marta Matoula, dropping the match 7-5.

With the comfort of a 1-0 lead, the Golden Hurricane found stride in singles play. After earning a quick straight set victory at No. 6 in the semifinals, Hollebeck dropped her finals match, 6-3, 6-3, to Tulsa’s Shura Poppe.

Monarrez Yesaki fought off match point against Vera Ploner in both sets, battling both to 5-5 ties. She fell, 7-5, 7-5, for her first loss in the last seven matches.

Traxler entered the match undefeated in her last seven decisions, but was outlasted by her No. 74-ranked opponent. The junior fell, 6-4, 6-4, to surrender the final point to Tulsa. Traxler’s 15-6 record leads the team, and she is the only Mustang this season to hold a winning record at every position she’s played.

Ana Perez-Lopez persevered to earn SMU’s only first set win at the No. 4 position. She earned a 7-6 (5) first set win in a close contest against Martha Matoula. Her match was in the third set when left unfinished. Shapovalova led 5-4 in the second set when the match was clinched.

The battle with No. 26 Tulsa was SMU’s second match against a nationally-ranked opponent in as many days. The team took down Temple, defending conference champions USF and No. 21 UCF on their road to the title match.