Spartans Edge Owls Behind Monumental Comeback

Spartans Edge Owls Behind Monumental Comeback

Contact: David Beall,

Championship Website | Post-Match Interview

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Behind 3-1 and trailing in every remaining match, the No. 3 seed USC Upstate women's tennis team pulled off an epic comeback Friday afternoon, rallying for a 4-3 victory over No. 6 seed Kennesaw State in the opening round of the 2013 Atlantic Sun Conference Women's Tennis Championship.

The Spartans improve to 14-7 on the year and advance to Saturday's semifinal round to take on No. 2 seed North Florida. First serve against the Ospreys is slated for 11 :30 a.m.

The marathon match with Kennesaw State lasted over six hours after inclement weather moved the A-Sun Championship indoors to Bristol, Tenn., and the Bristol Racquet Club.

Picking up the doubles point in 15 of its 18 regular season matches, Upstate continued to dominate doubles when it clinched the opening point of the day with victories at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. Allison Beeler and Constanze Kuerten improved to 14-1 as a doubles tandem with an 8-1 victory at the No. 3 slot, while Isabel von Stryk and Talia Rojas sealed the opening point with an 8-6 victory at No. 2 doubles. Julie Bell and Taylor Cohen led 8-7 at the top spot when the point was clinched.

Kennesaw State quickly knotted the score when Virginie Stein, an A-Sun First-Team All-Conference selection, picked up a 6-0, 6-2 victory over von Stryk at no. 1 singles. Cohen then followed and fell in straight sets 6-2, 6-1 to give the Owls their first lead of the day at 2-1.

Rojas rallied from down a set to force a third and decisive set before falling 6-1, 2-6, 6-1 to Therese Lagerkvist and leave the Owls just point from victory at 3-1.

With No. 5 and No. 6 singles just getting started, Upstate turned to Kuerten to keep the match alive as she was a game away from dropping the match at No. 2 singles. Down a set and trailing 5-3 in the second set, Kuerten went on a tear and won 10 of the next 11 games to pick up an improbable 2-6, 7-6, 6-0 victory and pull the Spartans to within a point at 3-2.

Julie Bell then took care of Isabela Castro in straight sets at No. 6, winning 6-4, 6-1 to set up the decisive point for Beeler at No. 5 singles.

After dropping the opening set 6-4, Beeler battled Tamara Plocher step-for-step in the second set and trailed 5-2 before winning five straight games to propel the Upstate senior to a 7-5 second-set victory. In the third and final set to decide the match, Beeler trailed 2-0 and 4-3 before winning four of the final five games to claim a 7-5 third-set victory and give Upstate its first victory in A-Sun Championship history.

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No. 3 USC Upstate 4, No. 6 Kennesaw State 3
Apr 19, 2013 at Bristol, Tenn. (Bristol Racquet Club)

Singles competition
1. Virginie Stein (KSUW) def. Isabel von Stryk (UPSTW) 6-0, 6-2
2. Constanze Kuerten (UPSTW) def. Jana Hueckinghaus (KSUW) 2-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-0
3. Alexandra Apostu (KSUW) def. Taylor Cohen (UPSTW) 6-2, 6-1
4. Therese Lagerkvist (KSUW) def. Talia Rojas (UPSTW) 6-1, 2-6, 6-1
5. Allison Beeler (UPSTW) def. Tamara Plocher (KSUW) 3-6, 7-5, 7-5
6. Julie Bell (UPSTW) def. Isabela Castro (KSUW) 6-4, 6-1
Doubles competition
1. Julie Bell/Taylor Cohen (UPSTW) vs. Jana Hueckinghaus/Alexandra Apostu (KSUW) 8-7, unfinished
2. Isabel von Stryk/Talia Rojas (UPSTW) def. Virginie Stein/Tamara Plocher (KSUW) 8-6
3. Allison Beeler/Constanze Kuerten (UPSTW) def. Blaire LaSure/Therese Lagerkvist (KSUW) 8-1
Match Notes
No. 6 Kennesaw State 9-12, 4-4 A-Sun
No. 3 USC Upstate 14-7, 5-3 A-Sun
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (1,3,4,2,6,5)
Atlantic Sun Women's Tennis Championships
Quarterfinals - Match #2
Official: Walt Williams T-6:08 A-75