WATLING, MARSLAND WIN CENTRAL REGION DOUBLES CROWN
Oct. 25, 2011
The No. 4-ranked duo battled to a 9-7 triumph over the No. 13 team of Benedikt Lindheim and Christopher Aumueller of Nebraska.
"It's a great feeling winning regionals for the first time," Marsland said. "That was a tough final. We competed pretty hard against some really good competitors from Nebraska, and we were relieved to be able to crawl over the line in the end."
The Cornhusker tandem, seeded second in the tournament, was able to break Marsland's first two service games and build a 6-4 advantage in the eight-game pro set.
"We were just trying to figure out a way to get ahead in those points," Marsland said. "We were trying to take away their strengths and be tactical about it. We managed to stay on track and compete our way out of the early deficit."
The top seeded Golden Hurricane duo righted the ship and began to impose their will in the latter stages of the match, as they secured five of the last six games to capture the championship.
"We were both struggling at the start and managed to pull through in the end," Watling said. "It was all just heart and passion today. We've worked really hard to get to this point, and we're very excited about winning the doubles title."
Watling and Marsland are now automatically qualified for the 2011 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships Nov. 3-6 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York.
"There's really only one thing you want to do when you go to New York, and that's win the whole thing," Marsland said. "If you're not in it to win it, then you may as well not go. We're ranked No. 4 in the nation and we lived up to that ranking this week. Hopefully we can go to New York and have a big week."
The doubles team became just the fourth Tulsa tandem in school history to win the doubles crown at the Central Region Championship. They joined former TU greats Dane McGregor and Shriranga Sudhakara (2001), Ryan Livesay and Dustin Taylor (2002) and Diego Camacho and Ross Cunningham (2006).
This is also the fourth time in school history that Tulsa Tennis has won multiple regional championships in the same year after Samantha Vickers brought home the women's singles title Monday.
Jennifer DeSpain and Anousjka van Exel won the women's doubles crown in 1998, while van Exel captured the singles title.
Aleksandra Durska won the women's singles crown and McGregor and Sudhakara won the men's doubles title in 2001.
Alejandro Tejerina won the men's singles title, Livesay and Taylor won the men's doubles tournament and Alicia Pillay won the women's singles championship in 2002.
2011 USTA/ITA MEN'S CENTRAL REGION TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS Michael D. Case Tennis Center Tulsa, Okla.
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