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Friday, April 29, 2011

Lady Demon tennis' title defense starts Friday



SAN ANTONIO -- Northwestern State has had another impressive regular season, but for the Lady Demons tennis team, having a taste of last year's NCAA Tournament has them eager to return by defending their Southland Conference Tournament title beginning Friday morning against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
The Lady Demons (16-5 overall, 9-2 in the Southland) edged the Lady Islanders (12-5, 7-4) in a tightly contested 4-3 decision in the third conference match of the season in early March at Corpus Christi.
Andrea Nedorostova and Martina Rubesova rallied from 5-2 down to an 8-5 win in the No. 2 doubles match, securing the doubles point with an 8-5 win, then swept their singles matches in a pair of hard-fought victories.
Nedorostova prevailed 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 in the No. 4 position to clinch the match for the Lady Demons. Rubesova won 6-1, 7-5 in the No. 3 singles spot. Four of the six singles went three sets.
"Everything we've done in the fall and spring has been designed to get us to this point, going into the weekend in the best possible position to win this tournament and get back to the NCAA Tournament," said first-year coach Luc Godin. "It's much tougher than it was a year ago because the competitive level of play has really improved in our conference.
"We were very fortunate to win in our first match against Corpus Christi and we'll need to be at our best to have a chance to succeed Friday," said Godin.
The match will begin at 9 a.m. at the Texas-San Antonio Tennis Center. The winner advances to a 9 a.m. Saturday semifinal against either second-seeded Lamar or No. 7 Sam Houston State. Top-seeded Texas-Arlington, the regular season champion, is on the other side of the bracket trying to reach the Sunday championship match.
The Lady Demons are 37-7 over the past two years, including a 23-2 mark against Southland foes.
Nedorostova and Rubesova are 25-0 in doubles against Southland tandems in two years.
Kathrin Lange can take over second place on the school career doubles victory list Friday if she and all-time leader Bianca Schulz prevail in their No. 3 match. Lange is tied for second at 63 with former career queen Karen Patel (1988-91).
Lange, Schulz, No. 1 doubles tandem Olga Bazhanova and Adna Curukovic, and Rubesova are graduating seniors.

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