Kosminskaya and Anisimova Advance to NCAA Round of 16

Tournament Information and Live Stats
Women's Doubles Bracket

PHILADELPHIA – The freshman doubles pair of Maria Anismova and Ekaterina Kosminskaya are blazing a trail into Penn tennis history. Three weeks ago, they etched their name in the record books, when they became the first doubles pair in Penn women’s tennis history to be selected for the NCAA tournament. And today, they became the first pair in Penn tennis history to win a match in the tournament, with their 6-4, 6-4 upset victory over LSU’s Megan Falcon and Hannah Robinson.

The young Penn duo earned their spot in the tournament via an automatic qualification. The NCAA awards bids to any conference with one or more doubles team ranked in the ITA Top 60. Anismova and Kosminskaya finished the season with a No. 59 ranking, the only team in the Ivy League good enough to qualify. And now, they’re making waves.

Anismova and Kosminskaya faced off against sophomore Falcon and freshman Robinson at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 24, in the first round of the tournament. And they had their work cut out for them. Falcon and Robinson had come into the tournament after earning an at-large bid, as they finished the year ranked No. 30. Falcon also qualified in the singles draw, as a No. 2 seed

“We knew they would be really good, and so we knew we had to bring up our game,” Anismova said after the match.

According to assistant coach Sara Schiffman, they did just that, despite the fact that the pair hadn’t played a match together in months, and hadn’t competed since the end of the regular season.

“It’s been a while since they played together, and they hadn’t competed in a while, so we didn’t know what to expect,” Schiffman said. “But they played well together. There wasn’t really anything I needed to tell them between games; they served well and they returned well. They did everything perfectly. And the whole time, they stayed really positive.”

That attitude is what Kosminskaya says carried them through.

“I think we played really well,” Kosminskaya said after the match. “But the part I liked the best was our attitude. We were ready to work every single point, and we were ready to fight to the end of the match.”

A part of that drive came from the hard work the two have put into their journey here, and was fueled by the support from the crowd. The two freshmen are making the most out of their first postseason appearance.

“The atmosphere here is amazing,” Anismova said. “They treat you like professionals, and there are so many people here cheering for you. The level of play is high; everyone plays so well. It’s pretty exciting. It was tough for us to get here. We’re both in summer school and have class and a lot of homework, and we’ve been working really hard to get here. But it’s nice to prove to people that even though we study hard and go to an Ivy League school, we also compete hard, and we can win here.”

Up next, they will take on Amanda Fish and Amanda Taylor from Vanderbilt, who are seeded in the top eight. They won their first round match over a pair from Brigham Young, 6-2, 6-2. The Round of 16 match is scheduled for Friday, May 25, at 2:30 p.m.

Though Kosminskaya and Anismova know little about their next opponents, they aren’t letting that worry them.

“We don’t really know our a lot about our opponents yet, so we don’t know what to expect,” Kosminskaya said. “But we’re going to go out there tomorrow and try to have the same attitude we did today, and try and do our best. We just have to keep playing every point.”

“We’re taking it one step at a time and one point at a time,” Anismova echoed.

Schiffman knows what the duo can do, however, and is ready for whatever the next round may bring. And after today’s win, she thinks that this freshmen pair is ready too.

“If they play the way they played today, they can beat anybody.”