January 26, 2013CORAL GABLES, Fla. - The ninth-ranked University of Miami women's tennis team secured its spot in the ITA National Team Indoors, with its 4-3 victory over No. 35 Arizona State Saturday afternoon at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.
The Hurricanes' newest member, Clementina Riobueno, battled back from a 4-1 third-set deficit to seal her team's victory over a feisty Sun Devil squad. In the process, Riobueno and the Canes moved to 4-0 on the season and will head to Charlottesville, Va., Feb. 8-11 to participate in the ITA National Indoor Tournament.
No. 35 Arizona State vs. No. 9 Miami
"This was a big step for our program," said UM head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews. "We'll take this momentum moving forward."
For the first time this season, Miami dropped the doubles point. However, a day after a tough three-set match, Melissa Bolivar tied the match at one, claiming a 6-2, 6-1 victory over the Sun Devils' Stephanie Vlad.
After Lina Lileikite's 0-6, 5-7 loss at No. 1 to ASU's Jacqueline Cako, the Canes found themselves down 2-1. Moments later, Deborah Suarez tied it once again as she downed Joanna Smith 6-2, 6-2. The win kept the freshman perfect in dual matches on the season and gave her a team best seventh singles victory.
Freshman Kelsey Laurente gave Miami the lead for the first time at 3-2 with a 6-2, 6-3 win over 86th-ranked Desirae Krawczyk.
The Canes trailed in the third set in each of its two remaining matches, creating plenty of tension for the home team.
Yaroshuk-Tews said, "Being down 5-2 in the third on court four and 4-1 on court five and then pulling out the win says a lot about these young players.
"I wasn't too happy about why we were in those situations, but, I was happy about how we got through it."
Riobueno rose to the occasion for her team as she won five consecutive games, overcoming that 4-1 deficit in the third set.
Stephanie Wagner was also in a three-set thriller. After winning the first set, she dropped the second to Leighann Sahagun and trailed the third, three games to five. The freshman fought back and forced a tiebreak. Sahagun would go on to win the match 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4) after Miami had already earned its fourth point.
Bolivar and Riobueno gave the Canes the first doubles match at the No. 2 position (8-4). Setting up a dramatic doubles finish.
Laurente and Dubins trailed 6-0 in their match at No. 3 doubles, before rallying to tie things up at 6-6. However, Arizona State took the next two games, winning, 8-6.
Lileikite and Wagner were behind seven games to five in their match against Cako and Nicole Smith. The Miami duo closed the gap to 7-6 and took a brief lead in the next game, but ASU held serve to win the match and the doubles-clinching point, 8-6.
Before heading to Charlottesville, the Hurricanes will play host to North Florida at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center on Saturday, Feb. 2. The match is scheduled to start at 2 p.m.
1. Jacqueline Cako (ASU) def. #57 Lina Lileikite (UM) 6-0, 7-5
2. #51 Kelsey Laurente (UM) def. #86 Desirae Krawczyk (ASU) 6-2, 6-3
3. Melissa Bolivar (UM) def. Stephanie Vlad (ASU) 6-2, 6-1
4. Leighann Sahagun (ASU) def. #92 Stephanie Wagner (UM) 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4)
5. Clementina Riobueno (UM) def. Ebony Panoho (ASU) 5-7, 6-2, 6-4
6. Deborah Suarez (UM) def. Joanna Smith (ASU) 6-2, 6-2
1. Jacqueline Cako/Nicole Smith (ASU) def. Lina Lileikite/Stephanie Wagner (UM) 8-6
2. Melissa Bolivar/Clementina Riobueno (UM) def. Ebony Panoho/Joanna Smith (ASU) 8-4
3. Desirae Krawczyk/Leighann Sahagun (ASU) def. Kelsey Laurente/Brittany Dubins (UM) 8-6
Order of Finish
Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (3,1,6,2,5,4)