Senior lefty Pleun Burgmans (above) is shown in action in Friday's match.
Auburn, Ala.--The 11th-ranked Auburn women’s tennis team advanced to the finals of its own NCAA Regional on Friday, taking a 4-0 victory over SWAC champion Alcorn State.
Auburn’s victory sets up a 1 p.m. match on Saturday vs. Arizona State with the winner moving into the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championships at Tulsa, Okla. The Sun Devils lost the doubles point to North Carolina State on Friday, but clinched the match with four singles victories.
“We haven’t played an actual match in three weeks so we knew there were going to be some kinks to get out,” Auburn coach Lauren Spencer said. “I think we started really, really well in the doubles and did what we really needed to do.”
The Tigers dominated the doubles play, clinching the point in just 22 minutes as Pleun Burgmans and Alizee Michaud won 6-0 at No. 1 while the No. 2 team of Alannah Griffin and Andie Dikosavljevic also bageled the Braves.
At No. 4 singles Alannah Griffin took a 6-1, 6-2 decision to make the score 2-0.
Alannah Griffin shows her forehand in Friday's match.
Auburn’s No. 6 player, Caroline Turner, won 6-0, 6-0 to make the score 3-0 before Burgmans, playing at No. 3 singles, clinched the win with a 6-3, 6-0 victory.
“We played really well in doubles, even though we hadn’t played a match in three weeks,” Burgmans said. “We started off a little bit slow in singles, but got ourselves back and I think we played good tennis.”
Burgmans said that she expects Arizona State will challenge the Tigers with SEC-level talent. Auburn’s head coach agreed.
“They are very, very tough from one to six, but I do think if we play our best tennis we come out with a ‘W,’ but we have got to play Auburn tennis,” Spencer said of Saturday’s matchup vs. Arizona State.
“We have to play at a very high level, a championship level, and it is going to have to be from start to finish,” the coach added. “We know it is going to have to be gritty and tough. We think we can outlast anyone at any point of time. My girls, if we are ready for a war, I think we will come out with a ‘W.’
“We know we have to raise the level against a very, very good Arizona State team,” Spencer said. “We are looking forward to that and we have our eye on Tulsa. We are going to have to bring it tomorrow.”
Burgmans said if the Tigers “play our tennis best” the team has a solid chance of advancing to the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament.
No. 20 Andie Dikosavljevic (AU) vs. Aida Kelic (ALCN) 6-2, 1-2, unfinished
No. 31 Alizee Michaud (AU) vs. Ivana Boberic (ALCN) 6-4, 3-0, unfinished
No. 70 Pleun Burgmans (AU) def. Sibohan Ryan-Bovey (ALCN) 6-3, 6-0
Alannah Griffin (AU) def. Ekaterina Potapova (ALCN) 6-1, 6-2
Paula de Man (AU) vs. Klavdija Bukovic (ALCN) 6-0, 4-3, unfinished
Caroline Turner (AU) def. Marlene Maier (ALCN) 6-0, 6-0
No. 8 Pleun Burgmans/Alizee Michaud (AU) def. Ekaterina Potapova/Sibohan Ryan-Bovey, (Alcorn) 6-0
Alannah Griffin/Andie Dikosavljevic (AU) def. Aida Kelic/Ivana Boberic (Alcorn) 6-0
Paula de Man/Caroline Turner (AU) vs. Marlene Maier/Aakanksha Punj (Alcorn) 4-1, uf
Order of finish: Doubles: 1,2; Singles: 4,6,3