PHILADELPHIA -Freshmen Maria Anismova and Ekaterina Kosminskaya’s history-making is over, for now. The pair, who were the first women’s doubles team in Penn tennis history to make it to the NCAA Tournament, and win a match, fell in the NCAA Round of 16 today, losing to Vanderbilt’s Amanda Fish and Amanda Taylor, 6-2, 6-1.
On Thursday, the duo entered their first tournament ranked at No. 59, and facing a tough No. 30 seed from LSU. But Kosminskaya and Anismova prevailed, beating 6-4, 6-4 in a first round upset.
And so they advanced to face Fish and Taylor, who finished the regular season with a No. 8 ranking. They won their first round match-up against a team from Brigham Young, 6-2, 6-2.
Against Penn, the pair was nearly perfect. Vanderbilt went up 2-0 in the first set before Anismova and Kosminskaya could get their foot in the door. In the third game, the Quakers won out 40-15, to cut their lead to 2-1. It was the closest they would come all day. The Vanderbilt duo, which has played almost 40 matches together this year, established the early lead and never looked back.
“It was really hot, but that wasn’t much of a factor for us,” Anismova said. “They are a really good team. They have played together for a long time and it shows. They were very consistent.”
Fish and Taylor went up 5-1 in the first set, before Kosminskaya and Anismova were able to win again. They won that game in a dominating 40-0 fashion, but it wasn’t enough to keep their footing. Fish and Taylor won the first set, 6-2. In the second set, Anismova and Kosminskaya won the first game in a battle, to go up 1-0. But Fish and Taylor never let up, and capitalized on every Penn mistake, winning the second set 6-1.
“This team was very talented and it was hard to win any points without really fighting,” Kosminskaya said. “They didn’t let us make many mistakes. It was a good experience to play at this level though.”
Assistant coach Sara Schiffman echoed Kosminskaya’s appreciation for the level of play, and the value of the experience for two of Penn’s youngest players.
“(The match) was not quite as good as yesterday, but the team we played was very good,” Schiffman said. “They hit hard from the baseline and we had to fight. We didn’t play as well as we’d like, but it was a good experience for Maria and Kate.”