The No. 52 Marshall University tennis team defeated the University of Memphis 4-0 in quarterfinal action of the Conference USA Tournament on Friday morning at the Lake Cane Tennis Center on the campus of UCF.
The third-seeded Thundering Herd (18-5) used the doubles point and singles wins on courts four, five and six to blank the sixth-seeded Tigers (16-10). The win sets up a rematch of last year’s semifinals with No. 33 SMU, in which the Herd knocked off the Mustangs by a mark of 4-2.
The Thundering Herd began the morning with doubles wins on courts one and two. The nation’s 15th-ranked tandem of Michaela Kissell and Dominika Zaprazna continued their perfect season with an 8-5 triumph over Courtney Collins and Kelly Gray on court one. The duo is now 19-0 together.
Catherine Kellner and Maria Voscekova secured the doubles point on court two with an 8-6 decision over the Memphis team of Mariya Slupska and Kathleen Hawkins. Up 7-6 on court three, Kara Kucin and Karli Timko left their match unfinished as MU was already assured of the doubles point.
The depth of MU proved too much for the Tigers as singles positions 4-6 lifted the Herd to victory. Kucin gave the Herd a 2-0 cushion with a resounding 6-1, 6-1 victory over Andrea Arques-Garcia in sixth singles. Voscekova increased the lead with a 6-3, 6-2 win against Kathleen Hawkins on court five. Kristina Koprcina then sent the Herd to semifinals as she defeated Kelly Gray in fourth singles, 6-1, 7-5. Kissell, Zaprazna and Kellner all left their matches unfinished.
“We are just trying to get used to the conditions, it is extremely hot down here,” head coach John Mercer said. “I think we did a good job of adjusting as we went along and we competed well. Tomorrow is going to be tough. SMU is good, we are good, and it should be a battle. Hopefully we can have a repeat of last year.”
The top half of the bracket is set with semifinal action featuring No. 2 SMU vs. No. 3 Marshall Saturday at 12 p.m. SMU handled ECU by a mark of 4-0 as well. The other quarterfinal match-ups get underway this afternoon with No. 1 Tulsa taking on No. 8 Tulane while No. 4 Rice battles No. 5 UCF.
Fans will be able to follow live updated stats of Saturday’s contest by logging on the Conference USA Championship Page.