April 27, 2014
By Kasandra Martinson
FRESNO, Calif. ---The top seeded Fresno State women's tennis team defeated second-seeded New Mexico 4-2 to capture the 2014 Mountain West Women's Tennis Championship on Sunday at Sierra Sport and Racquet Club."To set goals and then reach them is a hard feeling to describe, but the team and I are elated that we found a way to persevere in a tough conference and win this tournament," said Fresno State head coach Ryan Stotland "We knew we had to put It together every day and to win three match in a 24 hour span is a tough feat. I am proud of the ladies as we made history today by winning our first Mountain West Conference Tournament!"
The Bulldogs (16-8) have now won 12 straight matches and will enter the 2014 NCAA Tournament with the MW's automatic bid. This is Fresno State's first women's tennis MW championship in program history and first conference title since 2011.
In doubles, Fresno State's No. 3 team of Tanya Murtagh and Rana Sherif Ahmedcruised to an 8-1 win over New Mexico's Rachana Bhat and Susanne Baklini, with the Watts' twins secured the doubles point by defeating Michaela Bezdickova and Lizette Blankers 8-3 at the No. 1 matchup.
The Lobos took the first singles point at No. 4 before Sophie Wattsand Malysheva won quick back-to-back points to regain the Bulldogs lead at 3-1. Watts handled Bezdickova (6-2, 6-1) at No. 1 while Malysheva won her singles match over Natasha Smith on court four (6-2, 6-2).
New Mexico kept the match alive with singles point win at No. 6 to pull within 3-2 and gave Sherif Ahmed a chance to clinch the championship for Fresno State at No. 2 singles. After winning the first set, Sherif Ahmed fell behind 3-0 in the second set before she fought back and earned seven of the final nine points to close out the deciding match (6-2, 7-5) and win the championship title.
The Bulldogs will find out where they are headed for the NCAA Championships on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. PT during the selection announcement broadcast at NCAA.com. Fresno State will host a selection show for the event with details to be announced on Monday.
#1 Fresno State 4, #2 University of New Mexico 2
Fresno State wins 2014 Mountain West Women's Tennis Championship and earns automatic bid to NCAA Tournament
1. Sophie Watts (FS) def. BEZDICKOVA, Misa (UNM) 6-2, 6-1
2. Rana Sherif Ahmed (FS) def. BLANKERS, Lizette (UNM) 6-2, 7-5
3. Aishwarya Agrawal (FS) vs. HOPSON, Meredith (UNM) 5-7, 2-1, unfinished
4. Sofya Malysheva (FS) def. SMITH, Natasha (UNM) 6-2, 6-2
5. DULSKI, Dominique (UNM) def. Anneka Watts (FS) 6-1, 6-1
6. BHAT, Rachana (UNM) def. Anne Susdorf(FS) 7-5, 6-0
1. Sophie Watts/Anneka Watts (FS) def. BEZDICKOVA, Misa/BLANKERS, Lizette (UNM) 8-3
2. DULSKI, Dominique/SMITH, Natasha (UNM) def. Sofya Malysheva/Aishwarya Agrawal (FS) 8-7 (7-1)
3. Tanya Murtagh/Rana Sherif Ahmed (FS) def. BHAT, Rachana/BAKLINI, Susan (UNM) 8-1
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (5,1,4,6,2)
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