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Miyamoto, Sawangkaew advance to doubles finals in second day of Big 12 Fall Invitational

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Ayumi Miyamoto

Ayumi Miyamoto with an excellent serve.

Oklahoma State didn’t get as much out of Saturday’s round of the Big 12 Fall Invitational as they had hoped, but did send a doubles team to the finals.

Doubles

The Cowgirl team of Dariya Detkovskaya and Oona Orpana were losing early to Texas Tech’s Avelina Sayfetdinova and Kailey Evans, who displayed great hands at the net, preventing the Cowgirls from getting any momentum.

The duo closed the gap as the match went on, showing more aggression, but were unable to catch up. Sayfetdinova and Evans would go on to advance all the way to the final round.

Oklahoma State’s Mhai Sawangkaew and Ayumi Miyamoto started the day with a bye, after their quarterfinal opponent had to retire due to injury.

Their semifinal match was a Bedlam showdown with Layne Sleeth and Alexandra Pisareva, where they took full advantage of the rest.

Sawangkaew thrived from the start, driving the ball all over the court and getting the Sooners out of position. She carried over confidence from her heroic singles victory yesterday.

Miyamoto showed experience, constantly finding the right place at the right time, putting away shots at the net and taking advantage of the opportunities provided by Sawangkaew’s strong baseline play.

Cowgirl assistant coach Jaime Sanchez-Cañamares expected nothing less from an OSU doubles team which ranks 44th in the nation.

“They compliment each other well…the bottom line is they’re good doubles players,” Sanchez-Cañamares said.

The Cowgirl duo would win the match 8-3, breezing to the finals where they’ll attempt to avenge their teammates Sunday against Texas Tech’s Sayfetdinova and Evans.

Singles

Saturday was disappointing in the singles bracket for two OSU freshman who played well Friday.

Sawangkaew was deadlocked in a close semifinal match with Kansas State’s Rosanna Maffei early. The match was drawn out and primarily played from the baseline.

Toward the end of the first set, it was clear Sawangkaew was in pain. She started to struggle, having a hard time planting on her left foot. She finished the match, but after losing the first set, Maffei started to take control.

Sawangkaew was unable to overcome the injury and lost in straight sets.

OSU’s Orpana faced fellow freshman Alina Shcherbinina from Baylor, a highly ranked recruit from Russia.

Shcherbinina showed a rare combination of power and consistency, overwhelming Orpana early. Orpana came back in the first set, limiting her own mistakes and managed to force a tiebreak to decide the first set.

Both players flew back-and-forth across the baseline in the final set, trying to get the other off-balance. Shcherbinina made fewer mistakes, narrowly winning the tiebreak.

Shcherbinina was able to advance, setting up a championship singles match Sunday between herself and Maffei.

sports.ed@ocolly.com