Oklahoma State Cowgirls tennis head coach Chris Young and his band of tennis playing student-athletes are continuing to make history. On Saturday afternoon, the Cowgirls downed fourth-seed Ohio State (31-3) by a score of 4-2 to earn their way into the NCAA Women's Tennis Final Four at the NCAA Championships in Tulsa at the Michael Case Tennis Center on the TU campus.
The Cowgirls are now 28-4 and will take on No. 1 California in the semifinals. The Bears defeated Pepperdine on Saturday 4-2. The other semifinal will pit No. 6 Vanderbilt (23-5) vs. No. 15 Stanford (18-5). Vandy downed Virginia 4-2 and Stanford eliminated Michigan 4-3.
Young, the Cowgirls head coach, spoke on several topics after the match, the emotion of winning the match, the importance of double point, which the Cowgirls have put a premium on since Young arrived, and the impact of making the Final Four for the OSU program.
“It’s hard coming in here so quick after the match is over, with a match like that and so many emotions. What a great college tennis match," Young said. "I give Ohio State a lot of credit, they did not go away at all. I’m just really proud of our team.
"We talked about last match and all the things that we have overcome and that’s been our theme. Katie has overcome a lot on a personal level and everything that she has been through this semester. She was out for a period of time, she had to get her appendix taken out when she was playing her best tennis this semester. She has come back and today was an amazing thing for her, being down 4-2 during that final set and to come back just showed her toughness. I’m just so proud of her.”
On importance of double point… “The doubles point is huge. Percentage-wise, we’re the best doubles team in the country, we have only lost the doubles point one time and that’s something we pride ourselves on," Young explained. "It gets us going and obviously every point is necessary in a tight match. When you come down to elite eights and final fours, everybody is so close that one point makes a big difference and I thought our girls did a great job. Us winning the doubles points has been a different team each time and our number one team stepped up when our number two team didn’t play their best today. They stepped up and got the job done and I’m really proud of them.”
On what this win means for their program… “It’s the first time ever for our program to be in this spot. We’re representing the state of Oklahoma, the Big 12, and Oklahoma State," Young said with pride. "We’re proud Cowgirls and this program has taken on such a great life of its own with the fan support that we have. We knew we could build this if we could get to this point. Something special is happening right now and I don’t know where it’s going to end but we’re sure enjoying the ride.”
Here are the official results from Oklahoma State's win over Ohio State.
#12 Oklahoma State (28-4) def. #4 Ohio State (31-3), 4-2 • Michael D. Case Tennis Center • 4 p.m.
Head Coaches: Melissa Schaub (Ohio State) and Chris Young (Oklahoma State)
1. #43 Maria Alvarez/Kelsey Laurente (Oklahoma State) def. #9 Miho Kowase/Anna Sanford (Ohio State), 7-5
2.#58 Gabriella De Santis/Sandy Niehaus (Ohio State) def. #54 Viktoriya Lushkova/Carla Tur Mari (Oklahoma State), 7-5
3.#79 Katarina Adamovic/Vladica Babic (Oklahoma State) def. Francesca Di Lorenzo/Olivia Sneed (Ohio State), 6-1
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1
1. #3 Francesca Di Lorenzo (Ohio State) vs. Katarina Adamovic (Oklahoma State), 6-3, 6-7 (2), 3-2 DNF
2. Vladica Babic (Oklahoma State) def. #89 Anna Sanford (Ohio State), 6-4, 6-3
3. Viktoriya Lushkova (Oklahoma State) def. #96 Gabriella De Santis (Ohio State), 6-1, 6-3
4. Miho Kowase (Ohio State) def. Kelsey Laurente (Oklahoma State), 6-0, 7-6 (2)
5. Katarina Stresnakova (Oklahoma State) def. Ferny Angeles Paz (Ohio State), 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
6. #81 Sandy Niehaus (Ohio State) def. Maria Alvarez (Oklahoma State), 6-2, 7-5
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 6, 4, 5