March 21, 2001
TU Looks to Get Back on Winning Track This Weekend Against WAC Foe SMU:
After dropping three straight matches last week, the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (8-4) will look to rekindle its winning ways this weekend against Western Athletic Conference rival and 50th-ranked SMU (9-4). The Hurricane will face the Mustangs at 10:00 a.m. this Saturday (March 24) at the Harwell Tennis Courts on the campus of TU.
The last time these two teams met was a year ago in Dallas. In that match, Tulsa slipped past the then 68th-ranked Mustangs, 5-4.
Golden Hurricane Hits Midseason Slump:
After opening the 2001 spring season with six straight wins, Tulsa has hit a midseason slump. Since suffering a 6-1 loss to WAC rival TCU on March 2, the Golden Hurricane has dropped three out of its last five matches, including three straight heading into this weekend's outing with SMU. Previously, TU had not lost three consecutive matches since the 1997-98 season.
TU's Durska, Van Dongen Leading By Example:
Tulsa's sophomore combination of Aleksandra Durska (Pobiedziska, Poland) and Marjolein van Dongen (Woerden, Holland) may not be the Hurricane's most experienced players, but the duo is playing like season veterans. Durska, who is ranked 87th nationally in singles, leads the team in singles wins with a 22-6 record and boasts an unblemished mark of 8-0 at the No. 2 position in the lineup. Van Dongen is 13-4 overall and 7-1 in dual matches at the No. 5 slot.
In doubles, these two precocious sophomores lost their first match together and then reeled off nine straight wins. Durska and van Dongen are 9-4 overall and 9-3 in dual matches at the No. 2 doubles spot.
Durska Moves into Eighth Place Among TU's Winningest Singles Players:
Tulsa's Aleksandra Durska has moved into eighth-place among TU's winningest singles players. With 50 career victories in just under two seasons, Durska is just two wins shy of surpassing former Hurricane players Tatiana Chtcherbakova's (1995-99) and Heidi Brown's (1992-96) sixth-place record of 51 career wins.
TU's top doubles tandem of senior Jennifer DeSpain (Edmond, Okla.) and junior Jana Sedivec (Montreal, Canada) are ranked 17th nationally. The duo sports an overall record of 19-7 and a dual mark of 7-4.
Tulsa is one of five schools from the WAC ranked among the nation's top 75 programs. The five ranked league members include Fresno State (#29), TCU (#31), Tulsa, SMU and UTEP (#73).
In just under three seasons, Tulsa Head Coach Paige McMurray has recorded a coaching mark of 41-18 (.694).
Aleksandra Durska's 22 singles wins this season ranks sixth among TU's single-season leaders. She needs six more victories to tie her career single-season mark of 28 wins, which she recorded last season.