A different looking No. 11 Oklahoma State women’s tennis team defeated Oral Roberts in the Michael and Anne Greenwood Tennis Center when the teams met just hours after the Cowgirls (4-0) victory against Central Arkansas.
For starters, the Cowgirls adjusted their lineup in order for the entire team to get the opportunity to play in the doubleheader. Alana Wolfberg moved up to Court 3 for OSU, sophomore Catherine Gulihur started in both doubles and singles after not playing against the Bears hours earlier and freshman Ryan Thompson wound up on Court 6 for the Cowgirls.
In a new order, the Cowgirls remained unfazed from the challenges presented by ORU. Lisa Marie Rioux earned a win for the Cowgirls on Court 1 by a score of 6-1, 6-0 to get the Cowgirls second point of the night. Dariya Detkovskaya followed closely behind, finishing her match with a 6-0, 6-1 victory. Ayumi Miyamoto replicated Detkovskaya just seconds later.
Cowgirl coach Chris Young explained the goal he had for the action-packed weekend.
“You know if you look at all four matches as a whole, only Alana played all matches of singles and doubles,” Young said. “That was the goal this weekend. To give everybody some action, to be able to rotate everybody around.”
Ryan Thompson gets opportunity
When Oklahoma State took to the courts for their match against Oral Roberts, the Cowgirls fielded four freshman players. None of them had a bigger opportunity than Thompson.
She was given a chance to perform in singles play, facing off against Flavia Gutierrez of ORU on Court 6. In her opportunity, Thompson fell behind 5-1 in the opening set of the match, but fought herself back into the set before falling 6-3.
The second set did not go on for a long portion of time, as the match concluded before Thompson could progress more than a few games into the set.
But even in a tough outing, coach Young felt that her opportunity should not go unnoticed.
“To give someone like Ryan, who is a walk-on here and who has dreamed of playing for Oklahoma State, a chance to compete in singles and doubles I think is a good thrill for her. And for her family, being a legacy here, I think it’s important for her. It was really nice to be able to reward her for her hard work.”
Cowgirls rotate doubles for a new feel
It was not pretty, but the Cowgirls survived a challenge in doubles play to kick off the Oral Roberts match.
Trailing on multiple courts, Oklahoma State relied on a comeback from Court 3 that was led by Wolfberg. She ended the doubles point with a quick swat as the ball approached the net on match point. Coach Young explained what he changed for doubles against ORU.
“Tonight, we took out our number one doubles team and moved up 2-to-1 and 3-to-2 and gave them a chance to play in a different position (for) a little bit of a different challenge.”
The Cowgirls utilized the doubles point to its fullest, winning the first three singles courts of the night to take the 4-0 victory. And by winning the deciding court 7-5, the Cowgirls overcame their first dose of pressure on the season.