BOULDER – University of Colorado junior Ashley Tiefel gave the Buffaloes women’s tennis team its sixth win of the season, defeating Wichita State’s Satjaporn Mahajaraoenkul 6-0, 7-6(4) in a thrilling tie-breaker match to clinch CU’s third straight victory, a 4-2 win over the Shockers, Sunday afternoon at the Rocky Mountain Tennis Center.
Taking down the No. 54 ranked Shockers gave CU its second consecutive win over a ranked opponent in three days and it’s first back-to-back victories over ITA (Intercollegiate Collegiate Tennis Association) opponents since the 2010 spring campaign.
The Buffs defeated No. 63 Utah in a match played at Berkeley, Calif. in the ITA Kick off Weekend, and No. 65 BYU, a week later at the Rocky Mountain Tennis Center. Both scores were 4-3.
On Friday, CU defeated No. 57 Denver, 4-3.
CU improves to 6-3, while Wichita State’s eight-game winning streak ends, dropping the Shockers to 8-3.
“This is a great feeling, this team has worked really hard,” CU head coach Nicole Kenneally said. “It’s been five years since we beaten two nationally ranked teams in a row and for this team to feel that excitement, they understand why we challenge them, and it pays off.”
CU remains unbeaten all-time against the Shockers holding a 5-0 advantage. It was the first match between the two schools since 1997.
It’s also a first for Colorado since the 2006-07 season to defeat two ranked teams at home consecutively. The last time they knocked off No. 43 Oklahoma State, and No. 12 William & Mary, both by a score of 4-3.
On Sunday, the home team rallied to win having to secure four of singles positions after losing the doubles point (CU lost two of three).
Trailing 1-0, CU quickly took control of the match jumping ahead 2-1 with singles wins from junior Julyette Steur and senior Winde Janssens. Steur defeated Julia Schiller, 6-3, 6-2 for her seventh dual match victory (13th of the year), while Janssens edged Lucia Kovalova, 6-3, 7-6(3) for her 49th career singles win.
Wichita State evened the scoreboard at two with a three-set winner at No. 2 setting up drama to follow.
CU freshman Nuria Ormeño Ruiz put the home team ahead with her own three-set winner at the No. 5 singles slot, edging Abby Stevens, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3. Ormeño Ruiz won her sixth spring tally and her 15th of the year. It was also Ormeño Ruiz’ third win of the year playing in three set matches and it gave CU a 3-2 edge, setting up Tiefel’s first career team clinching win.
“The biggest thing for me was having my teammates on the court the whole time I was playing,” Tiefel said. “Carla [Manzi Tenorio] was there playing, and I had no idea what her score was, but it helped to see her over there.”
Tiefel added, “When I won that last point, I looked over to my team and was just so excited to see them there cheering me on; it’s always a great feeling.”
It was Tiefel’s first singles match since Jan. 25, as she evened record to 8-8 after defeating Mahajaraoenkulin in straight sets.
Kenneally called Tiefel’s performance, “absolutely clutch.”
Colorado (6-3) equals the 2012 season after nine matches and will look for its fourth straight win on February 28th at New Mexico in its second to last non-conference match before Pac-12 play begins March 7th.
Colorado 4, No. 54 Wichita State 2
CU (6-3), WSU (8-3)
Rocky Mountain Tennis Center at Millennium Harvest House
Sunday, Feb. 23, Boulder, Colo.
1d) Blaskova/Kovalova (WSU) def. Janssens/Ormeño Ruiz (CU) 8-4
2d) Aiello/Manzi Tenorio (CU) def. Pedrazzi/B. Fernandez (WSU) 8-2
3d) Stevens/Schiller (WSU) def. Tiefel/Steur (CU) 8-3
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1*
1s) Julyette Steur (CU) def. Julia Schiller (WSU) 6-3, 6-2
2s) Rebecca Pedrazzi (WSU) def. Alex Aiello (CU) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
3s) Winde Janssens (CU) def. Lucia Kovalova (WSU) 6-3, 7-6 (3)
4s) Nuria Ormeño Ruiz (CU) def. Abby Stevens (WSU) 6-4, 5-7, 6-3
5s) Carla Manzi Tenorio (CU) Montse B. Fernandez (WSU) 6-2, 3-2 DNF
6s) Ashley Tiefel (CU) def. Satjaporn Mahajaraoenkul (WSU) 6-0, 7-6(4)
Order of finish: 1, 3, 2, 4, 6*