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Cowgirls, Waves clash in entertaining battle

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No. 10 OSU WTen 2020 ITA Kickoff Championship vs. No. 25 Ohio State -0426.jpg

Catherine Gulihur serves during the No. 10 Oklahoma State vs. No. 25 Ohio State women's tennis match on Sunday, January 26, 2020 at Michael and Anne Greenwood Tennis Center in Stillwater.

True team wins are hard to come by.

But for the Oklahoma State women's tennis team, it got one in stylish fashion as the Cowgirls took down Pepperdine 4-3. 

OSU (8-1) coach Chris Young said he was pleased with the depth of his team and the ability for every member to contribute.

“It was a true team win because four girls contributed in doubles and three different girls contributed in singles so it took all seven girls to win the match and that’s what it takes to beat a good team like Pepperdine and that’s what it takes to be a good team,” Young said. “You don’t get (a true team win) too often, but that was really special today.”

The team contributions started in doubles, with OSU’s top doubles team winning 6-1. Catherine Gulihur, who had not seen much recent action, and her teammate Dariya Detlovskaya won a tiebreaking set 7-4 to earn the doubles point for OSU. In Young’s eyes, the doubles point was crucial for the outcome of the match as a whole.

“Pepperdine has really good doubles players, but they are kind of on a stretch here where they haven’t been winning the doubles point,” Young said. “And if they would have won that doubles point, I think it would have given them a huge confidence boost…I think it was really important for us to get that doubles point.

“Today you kind of knew it was going to be a 4-3 match, I think the teams are very even.”

Three straight Pepperdine victories to open the singles matched showed why they were the 11th ranked team in the nation and made the overall score 3-1 in favor of Pepperdine. Alana Wolfberg and Bunyawi Thamchaiwat came through for OSU with a pair of two-set victories to even the score at 3-3. 

All eyes turned to court 6 where the match between OSU’s Lenka Stara and Pepperdine’s Daria Kuczer decided the match. The two players each won a set 6-4 so a deciding third set was played. Even with everyone in the crowd watching and the deciding point on the line, Stara, the freshman from Slovakia, was not fazed. 

“I’m just focused on myself,” Stara said. 

Stara dominated the third set 6-0. After Stara scored the final point and gave OSU the win, her watching teammates, who had been chanting and cheering for her the entire set, rushed her in celebration. 

sports.ed@ocolly.com