TULSA, Okla. – The Pepperdine women’s tennis team had quite a day this Thursday at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center, winning all three matches throughout the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships in the day. Luisa Stefani advanced to the round of 16 after a win in the morning and she and Apichaya Runglerdkriangkrai and Matea Cutura and Christine Maddox advanced to the doubles round of 16 after back-to-back wins in the afternoon.
The achievement marks the first time since 1990 that a Waves’ singles competitor has advanced to the NCAA Singles Championship Sweet 16. It is also the first time since the 1997 campaign that the Waves have both had two doubles teams in the NCAA Doubles Championships and advanced those pairs to the round of 16.
Freshman Stefani started the day by defeating 50th-ranked Sadie Hammond of Tennessee with a commanding 6-0, 6-2 result to move on in the tournament. She will take on 14th-ranked Frances Altick (Vanderbilt) tomorrow in the round of 16 at 8 a.m. PT (10 a.m. CT).
In 1990, Pepperdine hall of fame inductees Janna Kovacevich (2010) and Ginger Helgeson (2008) each reached the round of 16 with Helgeson eventually reaching the quarterfinals.
Then, for the fifth consecutive season, the Waves earned a spot in the NCAA Doubles Championship round of 16 when 26th-ranked Stefani and Runglerdkriangkrai trumped 13th-ranked Paige Hourigan and Kendal Woodard of Georgia Tech in three sets and 19th-ranked senior Cutura and junior Maddox downed 14th-ranked Sydney Campbell and Courtney Colton of Vanderbilt in two sets.
The last time the Waves had two duos in the round of 16 was in the 1997 season when Angela Lawrence and Isabela Petrov and Zsofia Csapo and Anna Svendenhov earned the honors.
After Stefani and Runglerdkriangkrai dominated the first set 6-2, the opposition rallied back to win the second set with a 6-2 result of their own. Then in tiebreak-format, the two pairs went point-for-point en route to a 10-5 third set victory to clinch the overall win that would send the Waves to the round of 16. Tomorrow (May 27), the duo will once again face fourth-ranked Maegan Manasse and Denise Starr of California with the start time yet to be determined.
Cutura and Maddox worked hard for their win as well, first going head-to-head with Campbell in Colton to a 6-6 in set one. The Waves battled in the tiebreaker to come away with the advantage and win 7-6 (4) heading into the second set. The second was as close as the first with each side amassing five points before Pepperdine would gain the eventual lead. Cutura and Maddox secured their spot in the round of 16 with a 7-5 second set victory. The pair will go up against third-ranked Brooke Austin and Kourtney Keegan of Florida in the next round with the start times yet to be listed.
NCAA Singles Tournament | Michael D. Case Tennis Center
Tulsa, Okla. | May 25-30, 2016
Round One (64): No. 6 Luisa Stefani (PEP) def. No. 92 Gabriela Porubin (Wichita State) – 7-5, 6-3
Round Two (32): No. 6 Luisa Stefani (PEP) def. No. 50 Sadie Hammond (Tennessee) – 6-0, 6-3
Round of 16: No. 6 Luisa Stefani (PEP) vs. No. 14 Frances Altick (Vanderbilt) – 8 a.m. PT (10 a.m. CT)
NCAA Doubles Tournament | Michael D. Case Tennis Center
Tulsa, Okla. | May 26-30, 2016
Round One (32): No. 19 Matea Cutura/Christine Maddox (PEP) def. No. 14 Sydney Campbell/Courtney Colton (Vanderbilt) – 7-6 (4), 7-5
Round One (32): No. 26 Luisa Stefani/Apichaya Runglerdkriangkrai (PEP) def. No. 13 Paige Hourigan/Kendal Woodard (Georgia Tech) – 6-2, 2-6, 10-5
Round of 16: No. 19 Matea Cutura/Christine Maddox (PEP) vs. No. 3 Brooke Austin/Kourtney Keegan (Florida) – TBD
Round of 16: No. 26 Luisa Stefani/Apichaya Runglerdkriangkrai (PEP) vs. No. 4 Maegan Manasse- Denise Starr (CAL) – TBD