ECU Wins C-USA Tourney Opener, 4-3
April 16, 2009
HOUSTON, Texas - Rocio Cabanillas rallied back from a first-set deficit to record a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory over Jenny Cape in a No. 5 singles match to lift East Carolina to a 4-3 win in opening round action of the 2009 Conference USA Women's Tennis Championship Tournament Thursday afternoon at Jake Hess Stadium on the Rice University campus.
The sixth-seeded Lady Pirates (15-6) advance to face No. 3 Marshall Friday, while the Blazers complete their season with a 6-9 mark.
While Cabanillas capped East Carolina's comeback, Varinia Soler's 1-6, 6-1, 7-5 triumph against Paula Alvarez in a No. 2 meeting erased a 3-2 deficit and set the stage for Cabanillas' match-decider.
After UAB tallied the doubles point, the Blazers extended their lead to 2-0 on Giorgia Romeo's 6-2, 6-0 victory over Natalie Collins at No. 3. The Lady Pirates used straight-set wins by Brooke Walter (6-1, 6-3) and Tamara Sachs (6-4, 6-1) over Brittany DeFelice and Ceylan Engin at the No. 4 and No. 6 slots, respectively, to draw even. UAB's Evelien Strijker followed by putting UAB one point away from advancement with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 triumph over Jessica Cook at No. 1 before Soler and Cabanillas sparked the rally.
DeFelice and Romeo earned an 8-3 decision over Cabanillas and Walter in a No. 2 doubles matchup to break a 1-1 pairs deadlock and push the Blazers into a 1-0 advantage. Collins and Sachs produced East Carolina's only tandem victory by rolling past Cape and Engin 8-4.
The win over UAB marked the second-straight season that the Lady Pirates opened C-USA Championship play by handing the Blazers a first-round exit.
No. 6 EAST CAROLINA 4, No. 11 UAB 3