May 23, 2008
FRESNO, Calif. - Melanie Gloria suffered a tough three-set loss to familiar foe, Zuzana Zemenova of Baylor, in the Round of 16 at the NCAA Singles Championship Friday. Zemenova beat out Gloria in the hard-fought match 6-2, 2-6, 6-3, at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Tulsa Friday, to end Gloria's singles season.
The three-peat WAC Player of the Year must now brush off the loss and prepare for doubles where she and partner Tinesta Rowe are ranked No. 2 going into the Round of 16 later today.
"It was a close match, just like it was last year," said Simon Thibodeau of Gloria's match in the Round of 16.
Today's match had a feel of déjà vu. Last season Gloria fell to Zemenova 4-6, 6-4, 4-6, in the Round of 16 in 2007.
"The other girl [Zemenova] has been a bit more fortunate than Melanie in the big moments," said Thibodeau.
Friday, the first set went to Zemenova, the four-time First Team All-American, 6-2, but Gloria returned the favor in the second, 6-2, to tie the match.
"The other girl was extremely tired after the second set," said Thibodeau. "She had some tough matches and Baylor made it to semi's last week."
But Gloria had a rocky start in the third set, allowing Zemenova to get up 2-0.
"She had a slow start in the third set, but played well from behind," explained Thibodeau. "She got it to 4-3 and then almost to 4-all. But Melanie came out just a little short; the other girl was a little more opportunistic. Melanie became tentative instead of going for her shots."
By advancing to the Round of 16, Gloria earns her second First Team All-American honors.
Gloria and Rowe will face Arkansas's Ela Kaluder and Aurelija Miseviciute Friday at 4 p.m
Zuzana Zemenova (BU) def. Melanie Gloria (FS) 6-2, 2-6, 6-3
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