`Dogs Win WAC Title in Dramatic Fashion
Freshman Laura Pola won the deciding match for Fresno State, to give the Bulldogs their eighth-straight WAC Championship.
Freshman Laura Pola won the deciding match for Fresno State, to give the Bulldogs their eighth-straight WAC Championship.

April 25, 2009

FRESNO, Calif. - The No. 16 Fresno State women's tennis team survived the biggest scare of its WAC Championship run, when it narrowly ousted No. 36 Boise State, 4-3, in the title match on Saturday in Honolulu, Hawai'i.

"Obviously, we are happy to win our conference tournament," head coach Simon Thibodeau said. "I credit Boise State for their incredible match. This is a positive lesson that will need to bring with us to the NCAA Tournament -- to play each point like it's the last one, and reminding to stay focused at all times."

The Bulldogs started strong by winning the doubles point. The nation's top-ranked duo of Anastasia Petukhova and Renata Kucerkova turned away the Broncos' Pichittra Thongdach and Lauren Megale, 8-3. No. 13 Tinesta Rowe and Melanie Gloria clinched the doubles point with an 8-5 victory over Vivien Silfany and Klaudia Wlodarczyk.

The Broncos came out motivated for singles and won the first set in five of the six matches, to make things interesting.

Boise State tied the team score at one match apiece, before First Team All-WAC member, No. 66 Kucerkova put the Bulldogs ahead again with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over WAC Freshman of the Year Vivien Silfany.

Undeterred, the Broncos won two matches to reclaim the lead at 3-2.

Fresno State's Laura Pola and No 25 Anastasia Petukhova each went into a third set in the two remaining matches.

Petukhova defeated Lauren Megale, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, to even the team score at 3-3.

Pola won a dramatic, three-set battle with Klaudia Wlodarczyk, 2-6, 6-1, 7-5, to give the Bulldogs their eighth-straight WAC Championship and automatic bid for the NCAA Tournament.



"Our freshman, Laura, showed nerves of steel," Thibodeau said. "I'm proud of her for the maturity she showed under pressure."

The Bulldogs will now have to wait until Tuesday for the NCAA Selection Show to find out their seed, who they are playing, if and who they will be hosting for the Regional of the NCAA Tournament.

The selection show is aired on ESPNews at 2:20 p.m. PT for both the women's and men's tennis teams. Fresno State will be hosting a selection show party at the Red Zone Sports Bar located at 1552 E. Champlain Dr. in Fresno, Calif.

April 25, 2009 - Honolulu, Hawai'i

No. 16 Fresno State def. No. 36 Boise State, 4-3

Doubles (Fresno State wins the doubles point)
1. No. 1 Renata Kucerkova/Anastasia Petukhova (FS) def. Pichittra Thongdach/Lauren Megale (BSU) 8-3
2. No. 13 Melanie Gloria/Tinesta Rowe (FS) def. Vivien Silfany/Klaudia Wlodarczyk (BSU) 8-5
3. Laura Pola/Danon Beatty (FS) vs. Laura Baum/Bianca Jochimsen (BSU) 6-7, unfinished
Order of Completion: 1, 2

1. No. 80 Pichittra Thongdach (BSU) def. No. 16 Melanie Gloria (FS) 6-1, 7-5
2. No. 25 Anastasia Petukhova (FS) def. Lauren Megale (BSU) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
3. No. 66 Renata Kucerkova (FS) def. Vivien Silfany (BSU) 6-4, 6-1
4. Bianca Jochimsen (BSU) def. Tinesta Rowe (FS) 6-3, 7-6 (7-3)
5. Laura Pola (FS) def. Klaudia Wlodarczyk (BSU) 2-6, 6-1, 7-5
6. Laura Baum (BSU) def. Bruna Paes (FS) 6-1, 6-1
Order of Completion: 6, 3, 4, 1, 2, 5*

2009 WAC All-Tournament Team

Melanie Gloria, Fresno State
Anastasia Petukhova, Fresno State
Renata Kucerkova, Fresno State
Pichittra Thongdach, Boise State
Lauren Megale, Boise State
Laura Pola, Fresno State

Renata Kucerkova/Anastasia Petukhova, Fresno State
Tinesta Rowe/Melanie Gloria, Fresno State
Pichittra Thongdach/Lauren Megale, Boise State

"Join the State - Fresno State" - Support the Bulldogs as they travel to Honolulu, Hawai'i, for the WAC Championships from April 23-25. Follow the 'Dogs throughout the season on www.gobulldogs.com.

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