WKU tennis falls to FIU in C-USA tournament

DENTON, Texas — WKU’s historic tennis season has come to an end as the Lady Toppers fell to No. 40 FIU, 4-0, at the Waranch Tennis Complex Saturday afternoon, wrapping up a 13-6 overall record, which is tied for the sixth-most wins in a spring campaign.

The Lady Toppers accomplished a lot this season, including their first win over rival Middle Tennessee since 1989, advancing to their first-ever semifinals match in a conference tournament and owning a .706 regular season winning percentage – the best since 2001.

In the C-USA semifinal, 2-seeded FIU (21-1) started off hot winning the doubles match on courts one and three. The Panthers won in 6-1 decisions on both courts.

In singles play, the Lady Toppers battled as three of the matches went into three sets, but none of those finished. At the No. 6 spot, Gabriela Ferreira defeated WKU’s Violetta Shatalova 6-1, 6-3, to finish her junior season with her best record yet at a 9-3 reading.

On court three, senior Andreanna Christopoulou fell 6-3, 6-3. The Greece native racked up 32 victories in her storied career. Freshman Natalia De Ugarte was outlasted by Ulyana Grib 6-2, 6-4 on court five to finish up her rookie season with 11 wins. De Ugarte’s 11 victories is tied for second-best on the team as she is knotted with Monica Malinen.

FIU advances to the championship match taking on No. 37 Rice, marking the second-straight year the two have faced off in the final round. The Owls are looking to win their sixth-straight C-USA title.

1. #39 Andrea Lazaro (FIU) vs. Elpida Malamou (WKU) 6-3, 3-6, 1-3, unfinished
2. Maryna Veksler (FIU) vs. Monica Malinen (WKU) 7-6 (7-2), 4-2, unfinished
3. Mina Markovic (FIU) def. Andreanna Christopoulou (WKU) 6-3, 6-3
4. Nina Nagode (FIU) vs. Cindy Oest (WKU) 4-6, 6-4, 1-1, unfinished
5. Ulyana Grib (FIU) def. Natalia De Ugarte (WKU) 6-2, 6-4
6. Gabriela Ferreira (FIU) def. Violetta Shatalova (WKU) 6-1, 6-3

1. Lazaro/Nagode (FIU) def. Friess/Christopoulou (WKU) 6-1
2. Veksler/Grib (FIU) vs. De Ugarte/Oest (WKU) 4-1, unfinished
3. Markovic/Ferreira (FIU) def. Shatalova/Malinen (WKU) 6-1

How to Follow the Lady Toppers: For complete information on WKU Lady Topper Tennis, follow the program via social media @WKUTennis on Twitter.

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