April 17, 2014
NORFOLK, Va. - Freshman Alex Kitchen's 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 win over Valentina Briceno lifted the Southern Miss women's tennis team to a 4-2 over No. 6 seeded FIU in the Conference USA Tennis Championships at Folkes-Stevens Tennis Center Thursday morning.
Kitchen lost her first set 6-3 before battling back to take the second set 6-1. The Palm Harbor, Fla., native rallied from a 5-2 deficit in the third for a 7-5 victory to clinch the match for the Golden Eagles.
"I am very proud of the way this team fought today," Coach Dominic Modise said. "I thought they played incredible tennis with amazing fight. Without Mahitha, Lisa and Alex, we would have lost today. They just pulled everything together."
The Golden Eagles (12-12) won the first point of the match by claiming a win at No. 6 singles when Kathrin Waidner won by default. FIU (11-7) evened the match at 1-1 when Giulietta Boha downed Karina Gurgenyan in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1 at No. 4. The Panthers added another point for the 2-1 advantage after Carlotta Orlando defeated Carolin Drescher 6-1, 6-3 on court one.
At No. 2 singles, Mahitha Dadireddy dropped her first set 6-4 to A. Trifunovic before taking the second set in a tie-breaker 7-6 (5). Dadireddy carried the momentum into the final set and blanked Trifunovic 6-0. Lisa Noderer fell 6-4 in her opening set against Nina Nagode at No. 3, then used a second set tie-breaker to even the match with a 7-6 (4) win. Noderer closed out the match with at 6-2 win.
The doubles were not played.
Southern Miss will face No. 3 seeded North Texas at 9 a.m.