Falcons Fall to Wyoming 5-2 in Regular Season Finale
April 21, 2012
Wyoming jumped out to a 1-0 lead with wins at the Nos. 1 and 3 spots. The Cowgirls' No. 3 team of Silviya Zhelyazkova and Jessica Parizher won the first match of the day over Christine Molina and Tiffany Tran, 8-4. They were followed by the nation's 55th-ranked team of Simona Synkova and Veronica Popovici, who rallied from a 4-1 deficit to beat Melissa Cecil and Tahlia Smoke, 8-6, at the top spot. Air Force's lone doubles win came at the No. 2 position where Hannah Dake and Natasha Rizvi won for the sixth time in seven conference matches by downing Alexandra Kovacs and Sasa Nemcova 8-4.
The Cowgirls then won four of the six singles matches. Parizher earned Wyoming's second point of the day with a win over Dake, 6-0, 6-2, at No. 5. Popovici followed with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Cecil at the No. 1 position while Kovacs clinched the match for Wyoming by defeating Smoke 6-4, 6-2, at No. 3.
Molina captured AFA's first singles win with an impressive 6-3, 6-2 victory over Synkova at No. 2, while Tran rallied for a three-set win over Nemcova, 3-6, 6-2, 1-0 (2). Zhelyazkova won the No. 6 match for Wyoming, 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 (7) over Rizvi.
"This was a bitter sweet end to a long regular season," said Air Force head coach Kim Gidley. "Obviously we were disappointed we lost to Wyoming in the last match before the conference tournament - but we have to look at all the positives the team has accomplished this season - individually and as a team. The attitude, effort and fight of this team is something very special and the coaching staff is very proud of them."
The Falcons, whose fifth-place finish in the Mountain West is the best conference finish since moving to Division I in 1996, will open play at the Mountain West Tennis Championships on Thursday, April 26 in San Diego. Their first match will be a rematch against fourth-seed Wyoming 10 a.m. (PT).
"We have an amazing opportunity next week at the conference tournament to play a team in the first round that we lost to today," said Gidley. "We are a good team and the match was tight and we get an opportunity to go right back at them next week - what an amazing opportunity."
Wyoming 5, Air Force 2