PHILADELPHIA - It took eleven years, but a Penn doubles team finally was victorious at the Cissie Leary Memorial Invitational Tennis Tournament. Ekaterina Kosminskaya and Julia Koulbitskaya, seeded second in the tournament,defeated the number one seed, 36th ranked team in the country in Kansas' Avdeeva and Horvath. The score of the match was 8-6.
The Penn duo jumped out to a 5-3 lead before Avdeeva/Horvath rallied back, winning the next three points for a 6-5 advantage. Kosminskaya and Koulbitskaya regained their composure and tied the match at 6-6. An forehand smash by Kosminskaya won the next point for Penn, giving them a 7-6 lead.
On match-point, Koulbitskaya served up an ace, securing the crown for Penn.
The championship for Kosminskaya and Koulbitskaya was the second tournament victory in two weeks. The duo won the William and Mary Invitational last week in Williamsburg, Va. Their victory at the W&M tournament included a victory over a William and Mary team that included Katarina Zoricic, who is a member of the number one ranked doubles team in the country with her usual partner, Megan Moulton-Leary. Other victories scored en route to the title were against two nationally ranked doubles teams from Arkansas, Airapetian/Franco (25) and Kaluder/Misevicute (57).
The eight match winning streak to start the fall season should improve Kosminskaya and Koulbitskaya's ranking of 53 in the polls.
Head coach Michael Dowd was pleased with his team's performance.
"Going 8-0 through two extremely tough tournaments is impressive. Kate continues to show why she is one of the best doubles players in the country and pairing her with Julia should make this one of the more formidable teams in the east, if not the country."
This weekend's victory was made even sweeter by the fact that it came in Penn's own tournament, held in memory of former head coach Cissie O'Leary.
"I know we have made some finals in doubles (including 2006 when Koulbitskay and Yulia Rivelis were defeated) but we have never crossed the final hurdle, " said. Dowd, "It is very nice to win our own tournament and honor Cissie."
In other Quaker action on Sunday, Charlotte Tansill and Yulia Rivelis competed in the semifinals of singles action.
Tansill was defeated by Jante Kim of Yale, 6-3, 6-1 and Rivelis fell in a tough match with Virginia Tech's Inga Beerman, 6-7(8), 3-6.
In the finals of singles play, Kim defeated Beerman, 7-5, 6-0.
The women have the next week off before they travel to Flushing, N.Y. for the NTC Invitational October 6-8.
Download: 2007 draw sheets.pdf