KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC women’s tennis team (15-9) advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year and the second time in school history when it beat WAC regular season champion UT Rio Grande Valley (14-9) on Sunday afternoon at the Mesa Tennis Center in Mesa, Ariz., giving them back-to-back WAC Tournament titles.
UMKC jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after taking two out of three doubles matches.
UTRGV struck first when Melinda Johnson and Yana Grechkina fell to Marine Darzyan and Dominique Ibarra at No. 1, 6-2, but Aliona Ladutska and Grace Ball quickly evened it at one match apiece with a 6-3 win over Doris Aleksovska and Dominique Esparza at No. 2.
Johnson quickly made it 2-0 when she beat Darzyan, 6-1, 6-2 and Ladutska, the WAC Player of the Year, put the Roos on the brink of the title when she knocked-off Esparza, leaving the Roos with four chances to win one match.
Vale would come up with the clincher for the Roos as she downed Aleksovska at No. 5, 6-0, 7-6 (8-6) and sent the Roos to the NCAA Tournament.
At No. 2, meanwhile, Fries was trailing Ibarra, 6-0, 2-6, 3-2, at No. 4, Grechkina was trailing Belyaeva, 2-6, 6-4, 4-3 and at No. 6 and Ball was trailing Patnaik, 6-2, 2-6, 5-2, when the match was decided.
The championship is the fifth conference title of the season for UMKC following championships by men’s cross country, women’s soccer (regular season), men’s golf and men’s tennis (regular season).
The Blue & Gold will find out their destination in the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday during the NCAA Selection Show starting at 4 p.m. CT.
– UMKC –