By FHSU SPORTS INFORMATION
Just like a day prior, Fort Hays State fell 5-2 to its opponent and Maria Paz Diaz and Fiorella Mendez won singles matches in tiebreaks. This time the Tigers fell short of Newman in conference action even though they put up a strong fight in singles play trying to battle back from a 1-0 deficit after doubles.
Despite the Jets earning a team point early in doubles, the No. 1 FHSU team of Irina Alfonso and Maria Paz Diaz handled their opponents convincingly with a 6-1 win. The other two Tiger doubles teams each fell by scores of 6-3.
Newman was able to clinch the match in singles play by winning at the No. 3, 4, and 6 positions with straight-set wins. But, the Tigers battled in each of those matches. Nicole Heyn won five games in her No. 3 match, Aliyah Frederick won six games in her No. 6 match, and Kylie Aufdengarten won seven games in her No. 4 match.
Since the clinching team point had not been decided when Irina Alfonso forced a third set at the No. 1 position, she and her opponent had to play out an entire third set. After she dropped the first set 6-1, Alfonso rallied for a 7-5 win in the second set. However, Dana Issabayeva went on to win that third set 6-0.
Since Newman clinched the team win moments after Alfonso began her third set at the No. 1 position, any other matches going to a third set would play a 10-point tiebreak game to determine a winner. That turned out to be the case for Fiorella Mendez at the No. 5 position and Maria Paz Diaz at the No. 2 position. And like the day prior against Emporia State, both came out on top in their tiebreaks.
Mendez had an early lead in her match by winning the first set 6-4, but then fell 7-5 in the second set. She turned the momentum back around in her favor and won the tiebreaking game 10-5. Paz Diaz came out on top in the tightest match of the day. She prevailed in the first set 7-6 by winning a tiebreak game to seven, fell 7-5 in the second set, but then bounced back for a 10-5 win in the third-set tiebreak game.
The Tigers head back on the road next week to Central Oklahoma and Northeastern State for another pair of MIAA matches (Apr. 14-15).
Paz Diaz and Fiorella
Mendez each needed a tiebreak to battle out individual wins
against Emporia State in a conference match on Saturday (Apr. 9). The Hornets
took the match as a team though by a score of 5-2, now 6-7 overall and 2-2 in
the MIAA. FHSU moved to 6-8 overall and 0-4 in the MIAA.
Emporia State won all three doubles matches for the first team point, but the No. 1 Tiger team of Irina Alfonso and Paz Diaz were able to force a tiebreak in their match. The No. 1 Hornet team prevailed in the tiebreak by a score of 7-4 after 6-3 results in the other two doubles matches already had determined the first point of the match.
All of Emporia State’s straight-set wins in singles play netted them enough team points to win the match, but Paz Diaz and Mendez did not go away without a fight. They both won those battles, picking up a pair of team points for the Tigers after the Hornets scored the first five. Paz Diaz took the first set of her match at the No. 2 position 6-3 before Anastasia Pesic won the second set 6-2. Paz Diaz then took the tiebreak by a sizable margin of 10-4. Mendez had a similar path to victory at the No. 5 position, winning the first set 6-3 before Andrea Santiago took the second 6-4. Mendez’s tiebreak was tighter at the end, but she came away with a 10-7 victory.
The Tigers won at least four games in all four of their singles match losses. Alfonso won six games at No. 1, Nicole Heyn won five at No. 3, Kylie Aufdengarten won five at No. 4, and Aliyah Frederick won four at No. 6.