For the first time since the NCAA Tennis Championship expanded to a 64-team field, the Oklahoma State women's tennis team advanced to the quarterfinals after a 4-0 victory against fifth-seeded Georgia on Thursday night at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center.
The Cowgirls (27-4) had the last match of the evening, which started at 9:35 p.m. due to weather conditions.
OSU will face No. 4 Ohio State at 4 p.m. on Saturday at the Case Tennis Center. OSU has yet to surrender a single point so far this postseason.
The win marks the fourth trip to the Elite Eight for the Cowgirls. The first three came in 1985, 1986, and 1989.
"The theme for our team in the postseason has been overcome, we've overcome so many things this semester and throughout this year and we talked about how this would be more adversity that we would have to overcome," OSU head coach Chris Young said. "I think that's what this team is built on, we thrive on it and I think it goes to show the heart that this team has."
OSU began the match with a dominant performance at No. 3 doubles by Katarina Adamovicand Vladica Babic, as they defeated Caroline Brinson and Laura Patterson. The Cowgirl tandem took down the Bulldogs, 6-1 for the first victory of the day. Adamovic and Babic have won 17-straight doubles matches.
The Bulldogs battled for a win on court one to force a decisive match at the No. 2 position, where the Cowgirls have dominated all season.
Viktoriya Lushkova and Carla Tur Mari gave OSU its 29th doubles point of the season with a 6-4 victory against Silvia Garcia and Kennedy Shaffer, ranked No. 81, for a 1-0 lead heading into singles.
"I think early on we put a little too much pressure on ourselves, but as we started building we realized this is a chance to do something special for Oklahoma State," Young said. "We had a huge number of fans in my opinion that stayed until 1 a.m. and I can't wait to see the type of crowd that we're going to get on Saturday."
Lushkova continued her run of dominance at the No.3 position against Silvia Garcia, ranked No. 116. Lushkova only surrendered three games to the Bulldog while on her way to a 6-1, 6-2 victory, her 24th of the season.
Adamovic earned one of the most notable victories in the round of 16, as the Cowgirl knocked off Georgia's Ellen Perez, who entered the match ranked No. 5 nationally. With the match deadlocked at five-all in the first set, Adamovic took the next two games to win the set. The Cowgirl then found herself down 5-1 in the second set before storming back to win a tiebreaker, 7-6 (2) to give the Cowgirls a commanding 3-0 lead.
"I couldn't be more proud of [Adamovic], she played tough and Katarina has grown so much as a player and tonight is really the epitome of how far that she has come in her career here," Young said.
Babic continued to shine in key moments for the Cowgirls. The sophomore dropped the first set against Kennedy Shaffer, but the Cowgirl began to build momentum as the match went on. Babic took the next two sets, 6-4, 6-4 to secure a spot in the quarterfinals for the Cowgirls.
"[Shaffer] played very well, but I just tried to stay focused and in the match," Babic said. "We all tried to pick each other up by cheering really loudly, I was telling myself that I should just play one point at a time."
OSU will face Ohio State after the Buckeyes defeated Georgia Tech 4-2 in Stillwater on Thursday.
No. 12 Oklahoma State 4 vs. No. 5 Georgia 0
1. #10 Mariana Gould/Ellen Perez (Georgia) def. #43 Maria Alvarez/Kelsey Laurente(Oklahoma State), 6-4
2. #54 Viktoriya Lushkova/Carla Tur Mari (Oklahoma State) def. #81 Silvia Garcia/Kennedy Shaffer (Georgia), 6-4
3. #79 Katarina Adamovic/Vladica Babic (Oklahoma State) def. Caroline Brinson/Laura Patterson (Georgia), 6-1
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2
1. #47 Katarina Adamovic (Oklahoma State) def. #5 Ellen Perez (Georgia), 7-5, 7-6 (3)
2. #44 Vladica Babic (Oklahoma State) def. #28 Kennedy Shaffer (Georgia), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
3. #66 Viktoriya Lushkova (Oklahoma State) def. #116 Silvia Garcia (Georgia), 6-1, 6-2
4. Kelsey Laurente (Oklahoma State) vs. #30 Caroline Brinson (Georgia), 5-7, 6-4, 4-1 DNF
5. Katarina Stresnakova (Oklahoma State) vs. Mariana Gould (Georgia), 7-6 (3), 6-6 DNF
6. Laura Patterson (Georgia) vs. Carla Tur Mari (Oklahoma State), 6-3, 5-7, 5-3 DNF
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2