ATHENS, Ga. - Mississippi State sophomore Martina Banikova overcame a one-set deficit in the third set to knock off Colorado's 38th-ranked Monica Milewski in the first round of the NCAA Singles Championship Wednesday afternoon at Georgia's Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
Banikova, ranked 46th in the country, now advances to face 12th-ranked Zsuzsanna Fodor of Cal, a 9-16 seed and former Lady Bulldog, on Thursday in the second round. Time for that match will not be determined until after all of Wednesday's matches have been completed.
After dropping the first five games of the first set Wednesday, Banikova fought back to win the next three games. However, Milewski would close Banikova out, winning the first set 6-3. In the second set, Banikova took control, winning 6-1 to force a decisive third set.
Much like the first set, Milewski quickly jumped to an early 4-1, two-break lead. Trailing 5-2, Banikova then made a furious comeback, reeling off five consecutive games to earn the win.
"We were very proud of the way Martina hung in there today," MSU head coach Tracy Lane said. "She didn't play her best tennis all the way through the match, but was still able to fight back and get this one. It was a great effort."
The NCAA Singles Championship annually features 64 of the country's top players.