How sweet it is! Mustangs advance to NCAA Championships

MSU Tennis vs Cameron NCAA Tournament
MSU women beat Cameron in the NCAA Tournament to advance to the round of 16. / Source: KAUZ
MSU women beat Cameron in the NCAA Tournament to advance to the round of 16. / Source: KAUZ

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - For the second straight season and seventh time in program history, the 12th-ranked MSU Texas women's tennis team advanced to the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament with a 5-3 victory over 20th-ranked Cameron at the MSU Tennis Center.
 
Midwestern State improves to 19-6 on the season while advancing to the championship site for the fifth time under Head Coach Scott Linn.
 
The Mustangs grabbed an early advantage in doubles play to take command of the match, dropping only three games on the three courts combined. MSU improves to 18-0 when sweeping all three doubles matches, doing so in six of its last seven contests.
 
The duo of senior Daria Panferova and freshman Maddie Rowe swept Melany Opolz and Rebeka Velasova, 8-0, at No. 3 to put the Maroon and Gold on the board. Panferova and Rowe improved to 20-0 in the spring, matching the second longest winning streak in school history.
 
Junior Greta Lazzarotto and sophomore Bianca Duff extended their school-record to 23 straight, trouncing Sarah Frendo and Sara Petric, 8-2, at No. 2. The tandem built a healthy 4-0 lead before closing out the set. With her 115th career win, Lazzarotto moves into a tie with Marsha Meyer (1998-01) for seventh on the combined wins list, bolstering her doubles record to 72-9.
 
After falling to 11th ranked Zhenia Shviadok and Mathilde in the Lone Star Conference championship match, the sixth ranked pair of junior Maddy Coffman and sophomore Ashley Ramirez got revenge with an 8-1 win against the Aggies. Much like the other courts, MSU built an early three game lead and never looked back, improving to 19-4 on the season.
 
Cameron stormed back in singles to cut the MSU lead to one at 3-2, getting wins on the No. 5 and No. 6 courts. Velasova triumphed over Rowe, 6-0, 6-0, at No. 6 while Lazzarotto fell to Petric, 6-1, 6-0, at No. 5.
 
At the No. 4 flight, Ramirez built a 5-2 lead in the first set before closing the opening frame with a 6-4 win. The Scottsdale native came on strong in the second set, taking a 3-0 lead before putting the Mustangs a win away from clinching the match, 6-4, 6-1.
 
The Aggies closed the gap again at the No. 2 line as 58th-ranked Duff was upended in a third set tiebreaker, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 (4).
 
Needing a win on one of the final two courts standing, Coffman clinched the Mustangs win in a thriller. In the day's lone ranked showdown, the 30th-ranked Flower Mound native rallied from a 5-4 deficit in the third set to topple 18th-ranked Shviadok, 5-7, 7-5, 7-5. With the win, Coffman matched Alex Odell-Michels school record of 15 wins at the No. 1 flight, improving to 15-7 on the year.
 
Panferova led Frendo in the third set as the match was decided. The Moscow native split the first two frames, 6-2, 4-6, before the match was clinched, leading 6-5 in the third.

Copyright 2018 KAUZ Sports/MSU Athletic Communications All Rights Reserved