Lady Topper Tennis fought hard on Sunday afternoon, taking four singles matches to three sets, but ultimately fell to Conference USA foe Middle Tennessee 4-3.
Action began with the doubles round as WKU took to the courts in their usual pairings. Sophomore duo Cindy Oest and Natalia De Ugarte finished first, falling to a MTSU pair 6-2. In the No. 1 spot, freshman Moka Ito and sophomore Monica Malinen defeated a Middle Tennessee tandem 6-4. Seniors Elpida Malamou and Violetta Shatalova clinched the doubles point for WKU, defeating two Blue Raiders 7-6 with a tiebreaker of 9-7.
The Red and White started singles play with strong wins from Malamou followed by Ito. Both Lady Toppers defeated their Middle Tennessee opponent in straight sets 6-0, 6-2 and 6-0, 6-1, respectively.
Belarus native, Shatalova, was defeated by a Blue Raider in three sets after winning the second. De Ugarte and Malinen finished at the same time, both falling to Middle Tennessee opponents in three sets. On court six, a Blue Raider defeated Oest in three sets, clinching the win for the home squad of MTSU.
The Blue Raiders lead the all-time series between the two programs 25-12, having won 17 of the last 18 meetings.
WKU (8-4, 2-1 C-USA) will return to action Saturday, March 31, in Knoxville, Tenn., to take on the Lady Volunteers.
Moka Ito (WKU) def. M. Josefina Zehnder (MT) 6-0, 6-1
Elpida Malamou (WKU) def. Costanza Magazzini (MT) 6-0, 6-2
Kim Kermet (MT) def. Violetta Shatalova (WKU) 7-5, 0-6, 6-3
Zani Barnard (MT) def. Natalia De Ugarte (WKU) 6-3, 2-6, 6-4
Lidia Burrows (MT) def. Monica Malinen (WKU) 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3
Lee Barnard (MT) def. Cindy Oest (WKU) 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 6-2
Ito/ Malinen (WKU) def. Kermet/Zirilli (MT) 6-4
Malamou/ Shatalova (WKU) def. Barnard/Barnard (MT) 7-6 (9-7)
Zehnder/Magazzini (MT) def. Oest/ De Ugarte (WKU) 6-2
How to follow the Lady Toppers: For complete information on WKU Tennis, follow the team on Twitter @WKUTennis and on Facebook at WKU Tennis.
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