Herd Outlasts Houston, Rain to Advance at C-USA Championship

Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
HOUSTON, TX.-Marshall’s No. 3 doubles team of Dana Oppinger and Karlyn Timko persevered through a rain delay and a change of venue to take an 8-5 win to lead the seventh-seeded Thundering Herd to a 4-3 win over 10th-seeded Houston Thursday at the Conference USA championship.

The Herd will now face 24th-ranked Tulsa, the tourney’s second seed, Friday in a 3 p.m. ET (2 p.m. CT) quarterfinal match. Tulsa is the 12th ranked team (in ITA top 75) that Marshall has played this season, and the highest-ranked. Others are Purdue, Indiana, VCU, Kentucky, Penn State, Tulane, SMU, UNLV, Virginia Tech, Louisville and Pepperdine.

In a back-and-forth match, the teams traded singles matches with Houston’s Rocio Martin Fernand posting a 6-1, 6-0 win over MU’s Maria Voscekova at No. 3 singles and Marshall’s Kara Kucin leveling things with a 6-3, 6-1, win at No. 5 singles.

Marshall pulled ahead with a win by Ellie Ball at No. 4 singles, only to see Houston square the match at two when No. 1 singles player Elena Kordolaimi rallied to win in three sets over MU’s Dominika Zaprazna.

Oppinger gave Marshall a 3-2 edge after winning in three sets at No. 2 singles, but a third-set tiebreaker win by Houston’s Dionne Sanders over MU’s Timko forced the match to doubles play.

Before the doubles competition was able to be completed, rain began to fall and the match was moved indoors to the Galleria Tennis and Athletic Club.

Prior to the clinching victory, Zaprazna and Kucin secured an 8-4 win at No. 1 doubles. Ball and Voscekova were leading 7-6 at No. 2 when it was called after Oppinger/Timko emerged victorious.
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