UNLV Downs Falcons, 4-3, in Season Finale
April 21, 2013
The Air Force women’s tennis team lost a heartbreaking 4-3 decision to 61st-ranked UNLV Sunday in the 2013 regular-season finale played at the CSU Tennis Center in Fort Collins, Colo. With the victory, the Rebels improved to 16-7 overall and 6-2 in the Mountain West, while the Falcons fell to 13-10 overall and 2-6 in league play.
The Falcons jumped out to an early 1-0 lead by sweeping the three doubles matches despite falling behind 3-0 in each match. Sophomores Tiffany Tran and Marcelli Magday were first off the court with a 9-8 victory over Iren Kotseva and Ella Bourchier at the No. 3 position, winning the tiebreak 7-3. Senior Christine Molina and sophomore Natasha Rizvi clinched the point with an 8-6 win at No. 2 over Janine Erasmus and Aleksandra Josifoska. Seniors Melissa Cecil and Hannah Dake won the No. 1 match 8-6 over Lucia Batta and Nives Pavlovic.
In singles play, UNLV took a 3-1 lead by winning the first three matches off the court. Josifoska, ranked 37th in the nation, downed Molina at the No. 1 position, 6-0, 6-0, Batta, ranked 82nd, defeated Tran, 6-3, 6-2, at No. 2. The third Rebel point came at No. 6 where Kotseva blanked junior Anastasia Hueffner, 6-0, 6-0.
The Falcons fought back as Dake rallied from a set and 5-2 down to beat Pavlovic, 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-3 at the No. 3 spot, but Bourchier clinched the match for UNLV by coming back from 4-2 down in the third set to beat freshman Mary Meyers 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 at No. 5. Rizvi won her second match at No. 4 in as many days, beating Erasmus, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in the final match.
The two teams will play again next Friday, April 26 in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Mountain West Championships, hosted by the Academy. The second-seeded Rebels and seventh-seeded Falcons will begin at 2 p.m.
No. 61 UNLV 4, Air Force 3