Feb. 15, 2014
HUNTINGTON, W. Va.- Late into Friday evening, the Marshall tennis team waited. An intense battle on the court presented the Herd with the chance to defeat its first ranked opponent of the season, and the decision rest on the shoulders of lone senior Karli Timko (Houston, Pa.).
The Herd began the match with doubles competition. The German duo of Dana Oppinger (Weingarten, Germany) and Derya Turhan (Bad Salzuflen, Germany) fell in an 8-3 match as Timko and partner Anna Pomyatinskaya (Sochi, Russia) defeated Samantha Tutelman/ Carmen Sandor 8-6. The Nittany Lions took the advantage in doubles after the Herd’s Kai Broomfield (Toronto, Canada) and Rachael Morales (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) lost in a 9-8(1) tiebreaker.
The Herd quickly responded in singles action, with Turhan coming out quickly and winning 6-0, 6-0 over Sandor.
Oppinger followed suit, defeating Katia Blik 6-4, 6-1.
“Derya put us off to a great start, and Dana played probably the best match I’ve seen her play all year,” coach John Mercer said.
Broomfield fell to Penn State freshman Dasha Sapogova 6-2, 6-4. Sapogova has now won four matches in a row in singles competition.
With the score tied at two a piece, things seemed to intensify for the Herd. Pomyatinskaya was the next to finish, fighting back from a 4-0 deficit to defeat Marie Bedard 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 and give the Herd a 3-2 lead.
“Anna battled back,” Mercer said of his freshman performer. “To be down 4-0, and come back like that shows how tough of a competitor she actually is. It gave our team added momentum.”
And then, there was Timko, whose 6-3, 6-1 victory proved to be the deciding factor of the match.
“We really showed a lot of character today,” Mercer said. “Today showed us what it feels like to play really well against a tough team…and win. And it always feels good to win.”
Timko was ecstatic for her victory, but more proud of the results of her team.
“Hard work pays off,” Timko said. “Today we learned that when all of us go out and believe in ourselves, and each other, and if we fight until the very last point, we can beat anybody.”
Marshall now boasts an above .500 record at 4-2 and returns to the court tomorrow to face Penn at 2 p.m.