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From Auburn Media Relations
BERKELEY, Calif. – For the first time since 2008, Auburn won an NCAA Tournament tennis match on Friday. The No. 25 Tigers defeated St. Mary’s 4-2 at the Hellman Tennis Complex on the campus of the University of California to advance to Saturday’s second round. It was the Tigers’ 19th victory, the most since 1989.
Head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner has resurrected the Auburn program in her second season.
“I’m thrilled with the heart and fight the girls showed in today’s win,” Auburn women’s tennis head coach Lauren Longbotham Meisner said. “Tons of credit goes to St. Mary’s. They are a feisty team and we saw it today. We didn’t play our best, so we need to go to improve before the next round. We will have to play our best tomorrow to advance to the Sweet 16. We are right there. We just have to do it.”
Junior Jen Pfeifler clinched the winning point for Auburn with a hard fought three-set victory over Jade Frampton, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3, for the final 4-2 margin.
After winning the doubles point, Auburn took a 2-0 lead with a decisive 6-1, 6-2 victory by Emily Flickinger. The advantage was trimmed to 2-1 after a loss by freshman Michala Kucharova on court two.
Following a loss in the first set, SEC Freshman of the Year Pleun Burgmans rebounded to win her next two sets 6-4, 6-2 and drop ITA No. 23 Jenny Julien at the top spot. The victory was the 22nd of the year for Burgmans.
The Gaels picked up a second point at No. 6 with a loss by Plamena Kurteva to draw within one once again before Pfeifler ended the threat. Jackie Kasler was leading 5-2 in the third set of her match on court five when the match was clinched.
In doubles, the new tandem of Flickinger and Paulina Schippers picked up the first win for Auburn 8-3. It was followed by the 10th-ranked Burgmans and Kurteva dispatching No. 72 Jenny Jullien/Danielle Flores 9-7 to clinch the opening point.
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