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Tennis Downs South Alabama, 5-2

Feb. 6, 2009

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University women's tennis team downed the University of South Alabama, 5-2, Friday evening at the Huntington Tennis Club. The No. 46 Thundering Herd improved to 4-2 overall, while the No. 56 Jaguars fell to 2-2 so far this season.

"This was a good win against a ranked and tough team tonight," Marshall's head coach John Mercer said. "South Alabama has a lot of excellent athletes on its teams and it was good for us to battle with such a competitive squad."

The Jaguars took a lead early with doubles victories at the number two and three positions. Michaela Babicova and Sylvanie Spangenberg defeated Marshall's pair of Deanna Bailey (McDonough, Ga.) and Jessica Keener (Reston, Va.), 8-5, at the No. 2 slot.

The No. 44 senior tandem of Kellie Schmitt (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Karolina Soor (Lindesburg, Sweden) then took an 8-3 decision over Parija Maloo and Alina Volman.

However, the duo of Isabell Raich (Klaus, Austria) and Catherine Kellner (Smithtown, N.Y.) couldn't hold off Katie Welch and Erica Krisan at the No. 3 mark. The Jaguars secured its doubles point with an 8-6 decision over the Herd's pair at the No. 3 position.

South Alabama went into singles action with a 1-0 lead over Marshall, but the Herd would take four straight-set matches to secure the victory.

Playing at the No. 2 mark, Raich quickly defeated Paloo, 6-0, 6-0. Schmitt (33rd) followed with a 6-2, 6-1 advantage over Spangenberg at the No. 1 position.

Kellner defeated Volman, 6-4, 6-3, at the No. 6 mark. Soor fought for a 6-3, 6-4 finish over Krisan at the No. 3 slot to secure the Herd win.

South Alabama earned its final point with a victory from Babicova over Bailey, 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, at the No. 4 position.

The Herd's Keener closed the match with a win over Welch, 6-2, 5-7, 7-5, at the No. 5 slot.

"We did a great job fighting back after losing the doubles point," Coach Mercer added. "We need to improve on our doubles play before Sunday."

With the victory, Marshall has tied the all-time series between the two schools to 3-3.

The Herd will play Penn State (2-1), Sunday, with first serve set for 11 a.m., at the Huntington Tennis Club. Before playing Marshall, Penn State will face South Alabama, Saturday, at 2 p.m., at the Huntington Tennis Club.

Marshall and Penn State have met seven times, with the Herd leading the series, 4-3. In the most recent meeting, Marshall defeated Penn State, 4-3, in University Park, Pa., last season.

Tennis Match Results
University of South Alabama vs Marshall
2/06/2009 at Huntington, W.Va.

#46 Marshall 5, #56 University of South Alabama 2

Singles competition
1. #33 Kellie Schmitt (MAR) def. Sylvanie Spangenberg (USAW) 6-2, 6-1
2. Isabell Raich (MAR) def. Parija Maloo (USAW) 6-0, 6-0
3. Karolina Soor (MAR) def. Erica Krisan (USAW) 6-3, 6-4
4. Michaela Babicova (USAW) def. Deanna Bailey (MAR) 6-7, 6-4, 7-5
5. Jessica Keener (MAR) def. Katie Welch (USAW) 6-2, 5-7, 7-5
6. Catherine Kellner (MAR) def. Alina Volman (USAW) 6-4, 6-3

Doubles competition
1. #44 Kellie Schmitt/Karolina Soor (MAR) def. Parija Maloo/Alina Volman (USAW) 8-3
2. Michaela Babicova/Sylvanie Spangenberg (USAW) def. Deanna Bailey/Jessica Keener (MAR) 8-5
3. Katie Welch/Erica Krisan (USAW) def. Isabell Raich/Catherine Kellner (MAR) 8-6

Match Notes:
University of South Alabama 2-2; National ranking #56
Marshall 4-2; National ranking #46
Order of finish: Doubles (2, 1, 3); Singles (2, 1, 6, 3, 4, 5)
T-4:40; A-103

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