AUBURN - Auburn women's tennis improved to 8-1 in 2013 and earned its third ranked win of the season with a 5-2 victory over No. 21 Texas Tech on Thursday at the Yarbrough Tennis Center.
"I feel like this was the first really big win since I've been at Auburn," Auburn women's tennis head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner said. "We knew Texas Tech was going to be dangerous. They are a team that is known for their fight and from 1-6 it was a battle. We had to come out and really get on top of them in doubles. We knew it was going to be a big fight. We really wanted this win to show what we as a team can do in the SEC."
The Tigers (8-1), ranked No. 59 by ITA, took an early lead with the doubles point thanks to wins on courts one and three. At the top spot, Pleun Burgmans and Plamena Kurteva dropped Texas Tech's Samantha Adams and Kenna Kilgo, 8-4.
The Auburn duo of Paulina Schippers and Jen Pfeifler then followed up with an 8-5 victory over Caroline Starck and Elizabeth Ullathorne to secure the point.
"Doubles is what set the tone today," Meisner said. "We needed that doubles point and we knew once we got the point that we were in great shape to push for the victory."
The doubles loss by the 2012 Big XII champion Lady Raiders (6-2) marked their first loss in doubles competition in eight matches this season.
After winning the doubles point, Burgmans made it 2-0 in favor of Auburn with a dominant singles win in the top lineup spot. The freshman defeated ITA No. 80 Adams 6-1, 6-3 to pick up her second singles win over a ranked opponent this season.
On court three, Emily Flickinger stretched the Auburn lead to 3-0 with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Rashmi Teltumbde and then Plamena Kurteva sealed the victory with a hard fought 6-2, 6-4 win at the six spot over Texas Tech's Nikki Sanders.
Kurteva won the first set easily and held a 5-0 advantage in the second set before Sanders made a big push. The senior finally clinched the set by drawing in Sanders with a short slice, before hitting a top-spin lob to the baseline for the winner.
Auburn also added a win on court four with Jackie Kasler's three-set victory (6-4, 2-6, 1-0 [10-7]) over the Lady Raiders' Sandra Dynka.
Auburn is in action next on Saturday when it hosts Tulane (12 p.m.) and UAB (6 p.m.) to wrap up non-conference play.
"Tulane and UAB are both very dangerous teams," Meisner said. "We know it's going to be emotional. We know we have to bring the same fight and intensity that we had for Texas Tech. Both teams are very talented, so we have to bounce back quick and be ready to play."
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