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TU Travels To Kentucky For Matches With Marshall, Louisville

Senior Ewa Szatkowska is 13-5 in singles and 13-5 in doubles this spring
Senior Ewa Szatkowska is 13-5 in singles and 13-5 in doubles this spring
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Michael D. Case Tennis Center

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April 5, 2012

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TULSA, Okla. - The No. 26-ranked University of Tulsa women's tennis team (15-3, 3-0 C-USA) will travel to Louisville, Ky., for weekend matches with No. 74 Marshall and Louisville. The Golden Hurricane will face the Thundering Herd (11-7, 1-0) at 10 a.m. April 7, and the team will then face the Cardinals (9-7) at 9 a.m. April 8. Both matches will take place at Bass-Rudd Tennis Center.

This will be the first meeting between Tulsa and Marshall since the Golden Hurricane topped the Thundering Herd in the Conference USA championship match in 2010. Tulsa coach Dean Orford is 5-0 all-time against Marshall, and three of those wins have been in the title match of the league tournament. The Thundering Herd has won eight of its last nine matches, which included a seven-match win streak that was recently snapped. Marshall has posted key victories over Virginia Tech, Winthrop, East Carolina, Liberty, West Virginia, and Wichita State. The losses have been to No. 8 North Carolina, No. 23/50 VCU, No. 41 Purdue, No. 61 Penn State, Kentucky, and Miami. Marshall has no ranked individuals, and the team is led by Maria Voscekova (11-5 at No. 2 2 singles) and Kara Kucin (11-6 at 4 singles). Voscekova and Dominika Zaprazna are 13-4 at No. 1 doubles this spring.

Louisville is on a four-match win streak and will face Marshall two days before its meeting with Tulsa. The Cardinals are 7-6 at home and have lost both matches against ranked opponents this season (No. 64 Ohio State, No. 64 North Texas). Rebecca Shine leads the team with her 11-4 mark in singles this spring, playing primarily at the second position. Manuela Velasquez is 10-5, mostly at the fourth flight, while Sarah Miller is 11-5 playing at 5 and 6. Tulsa is on a three-match win streak over Louisville, and TU coach Dean Orford is 3-1 all-time against the Cardinals.

The Golden Hurricane picked up two Conference USA victories over No. 30 Rice and Houston. Sophomore Samantha Vickers won all four matches to lead the Golden Hurricane, while senior Bonny Davidson (3-0), sophomore Maria Sant'Anna (3-0) and freshman Isaura Enrique (2-0) were also undefeated. Senior Ewa Szatkowska and junior Michelle Farley were both 3-1 in the two matches.

Senior Anastasia Erofeeva is Tulsa's all-time record holder for career doubles wins (102) and career combined wins (207). She is also third all-time with 105 singles victories. She is the first player in school history to win 100 doubles matches, and she is also the first player in school history to hit triple digits in both singles and doubles. Fellow senior Ewa Szatkowska has teamed with Erofeeva for 77 of those 102 doubles victories. Szatkowska has 88 career doubles victories of her own, which is tied for third on the school's all-time charts. Her 83 singles wins are sixth in school history, and she is fourth all-time with 171 career combined victories. Junior Michelle Farley is 10th on the school charts with 69 singles wins.

Tulsa is currently 15-3 this season, and the doubles point has so far been a perfect indicator of whether TU will be victorious or not. Tulsa has won the doubles point in all 15 victories this season, while the team has lost the doubles point in the three losses.

Samantha Vickers has been named the Conference USA Women's Tennis Athlete of the Week twice this spring. She was handed the honor for the first time in her career on Jan. 24 after she opened the dual season with an unblemished 4-0 singles mark and a 3-0 doubles record. Her second honor was bestowed April 3 after she went 3-0 in singles and 2-1 in doubles from March 27 through April 1. She led the Golden Hurricane to victories over No. 30 Rice, No. 41 Oklahoma State and Houston.

Senior Anastasia Erofeeva has been named the Conference USA Women's Tennis Athlete of the Week on three occasions this season. She won the award on Jan. 31, March 13 and March 20. Her most recent honor was bestowed to her after she posted a 4-0 mark in wins over No. 50 LSU and C-USA rival SMU. Her biggest win came against SMU's Edyta Cieplucha, who was ranked No. 56 in the nation. Erofeeva came from behind to defeat the Mustang at No. 1 singles, 4-6, 6-3, 2-1 (10-8). She was bestowed the honor March 13 after she posted a singles victory over No. 110 Sonja Molnar of Iowa, while also recording her first-career victory over a ranked doubles opponent when she teamed with senior Ewa Szatkowska to defeat Nebraska's No. 23-ranked pair of Madeleine Geibert and Stefanie Weinstein. She received her first laurel after upsetting No. 40 Joelle Kissell of N.C. State 2-6, 6-4, 6-2. The win was her first against a player ranked inside the top 100. The senior was also leading No. 24 Natalie Pluskota of Tennessee 6-2, 4-4 before the match was halted in the second round of the ITA Kickoff Weekend.

Tulsa coach Dean Orford broke the school record for career wins in 2011. His record-breaking victory came Jan. 21 with a 7-0 victory over Mississippi State. He passed Paige McMurray (1998-05), who ended her career with a 104-65 mark. Orford is in his seventh season as head coach of the Golden Hurricane, and he has recorded 143 victories to just 41 losses for a school-record .777 win percentage. In 2011, Orford led TU to a school-record 26 wins and an .897 win percentage. He was named the ITA Central Region Coach of the Year and the Conference USA Coach of the Year for his efforts on the record-breaking campaign. Orford has also been dominant at home during his career. He owns a 94-11 record at Case Tennis Center for a stellar .895 home winning percentage.

Tulsa is currently ranked No. 26 in the most recent Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings released April 3. Earlier in the season, Tulsa tied the school record with a rank of No. 19. TU ended 2011 at No. 21, which was the highest end-of-year rank in school history. Tulsa also began this season ranked No. 22, which was the highest preseason rank in school history. The most recent individual rankings were released March 27. Sophomore Samantha Vickers is the highest ranked singles player at No. 75 in the country, while senior Anastasia Erofeeva sits at No. 83. The doubles team of Erofeeva and fellow senior Ewa Szatkowska earned a doubles rank of No. 69.

Tulsa is currently riding a 33-match win streak at the friendly confines of Case Tennis Center. The streak began Feb. 21, 2010 with a 6-1 triumph over Kansas. The Golden Hurricane won its last 10 home matches in 2010, which included all three matches in the 2010 Conference USA Championship. Tulsa followed that up with an unblemished 14-0 mark at home in 2011, and the team is 9-0 this season. The last time TU fell at Case Tennis Center was Feb. 17, 2010, when the blue and gold dropped a narrow 4-3 decision to in-state rival Oklahoma. Coach Dean Orford has posted a ridiculous 94-11 (.895) home record during his six-plus seasons at the helm of the women's program.

The 2012 Conference USA Championship is scheduled to take place April 19-22 at the Dunavant-Wellford Tennis Center in Memphis, Tenn. This will be the first time Memphis has hosted either a men's or women's C-USA Tennis Championship. Since the latest C-USA merger in 2005-06, Tulsa is the lone school to host multiple championships (2007, `10). UCF (2011), Rice (2009), Houston (2008), and SMU (2006) have also served as host sites. Since 2005-06, the Golden Hurricane leads the league with four titles, while Rice (2006) and SMU (2009) have also won league crowns.

Tulsa has competed in six C-USA Championships since joining the league in 2005-06, and the Golden Hurricane has captured four of the last five titles. TU began its run in 2007, when the team defeated third-seed Marshall 4-0 in the finals. The Golden Hurricane has been the No. 1 seed in three of the last five tournaments (2007, `08, `11) and the No. 2 seed the other two years (2009, `10). Tulsa defeated Marshall in the championship match during its first three title runs (2007, `08, `10), and the Golden Hurricane topped SMU 4-3 in last year's final. The Golden Hurricane owns an all-time record of 15-2 (.882) in the Conference USA Championship.

The 2012 schedule is proving to be a daunting one for the Tulsa women's tennis team. The Golden Hurricane is facing 16 teams who received a preseason ranking (top 75). Nine of those schools were ranked inside the top 50 and four earned preseason rankings inside the top 30 (No. 18 Tennessee, No. 24 Arkansas, No. 25 Oklahoma and No. 30 Yale). TU posted a 12-3 mark against ranked foes in 2011 and the team is 4-2 this season.