Freshman heads to pair of finals for Lady'Back tennis

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – Arkansas freshman tennis player Stacia Cozirscaia ripped through her first two singles matches as a Lady Razorback with a pair of straight set wins to advance to the E flight final on Sunday at the 14th annual William & Mary Women’s Tennis Invitational.

“It was a long, long day on the courts,” UA head coach Michael Hegarty said of the 14-hour marathon. “But it was a productive day for the Lady’Backs.”

Rain interrupted play during the early matches, then forced the conclusion of action indoors with rain in the Williamsburg area.

Cozirscaia defeated Lindsey Nash of Boston College, 6-3, 6-0, in the quarters, then dispatched Richmond’s Jessica Hubbard, 6-4, 6-2, in the semis.

“To advance to the finals of your first college event, that’s special,” Hegarty said. “Stacia is one of our highlights today.”

It will be a busy Sunday for the Modovian freshman as she and doubles partner Stacy Wilhelm defeated Chelsea Cramp and Bethan James of Virginia Tech, 8-1, to advance to the C flight doubles final at 8 a.m. Cozirscaia faces her singles final at 1:30 p.m. against Jessica Preeg of Virginia.

Junior Ela Kaluder and sophomore Audrey Bordeleau provided a pair of big matches.

Kaluder’s showdown with the nation’s 10th-ranked singles player lived up to expectations as the defending champion of the A flight battled to the end against Moulton-Levy. The William & Mary junior snapped Kaluder’s winning streak at Williamsburg, advancing to the finals of the main draw with a 7-5, 6-3, result.

“Certainly, it’s disappointing for Ela, but she battled one of the favorites to win the 2007 NCAA title to the very end,” Hegarty said. “Kaluder played excellent in defeat, and she’ll take away a lot from this match.”

Bordeleau had two of the most thrilling matches of the afternoon. She opened the morning by holding off Barbara Zidek of William & Mary. Bordeleau looked like she would have an easy quarterfinal match in the flight B consolation with a 6-2 first. Zidek rallied with a 7-5 second to force the super-tiebreaker.

In the battle to 10 points, neither player could gain control until Bordeleau picked up back-to-back winners at 12 to win 14-12.

After her marathon match, Bordeleau turned around to push nationally ranked Lynzee Keever of Marshall to the limit in a 7-5, 6-4, loss in the B flight consolation semifinals.

At the end of the day, Kaluder lost to Marianne Baker of Maryland in the A flight consolation semifinals, 6-3, 6-3.

Rachel Wilhelm came away with a split for the day, losing to Thaddea Lock of Marshall, 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 (10-2), before defeating Hanes Harris of North Carolina in straight sets, 6-0, 6-1.

In Oxford, Miss., the balance of the Arkansas team competed on the second day of the Ole Miss Fall Invitational. Mayori Franco defeated the Lady Rebels’ No. 1 player, Ilona Somers, 7-5, 6-0, in the quarterfinals before falling to Georgia’s Darya Ivanov, 6-0, 7-5. Sylvaine Spangenberg of South Alabama downed Melissa Hoffmeister, 6-3, 6-4, while Carly Dixon did not play.