Grgan, Tere-Apisah push No. 3 duo, fall in third set tiebreaker
Urbana, Ill.—Georgia State’s top women’s tennis doubles duo of junior Abigail Tere-Apisah and sophomore Masa Grgan took the No. 3-ranked doubles team in the nation to three sets, but fell just shy of an upset bid and dropped a 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (6) match in the first round of the NCAA Doubles Championship on Wednesday.
Grgan and Tere-Apisah grabbed a one-set advantage to begin the match after earning two breaks in the first set. The two earned the first break following a long rally and held serve twice before earning another break. The Georgia State duo, ranked No. 34 in the ITA National Doubles rankings, finished off the first set on serve to win it 6-4.
The Panthers dueled with Nebraska’s top-ranked tandem of Patricia Veresova and Mary Weatherholt into the second set, earning a break apiece. But the Panthers surrendered a break while trailing 6-5 to drop the set.
GSU started the third set with a break, but eventually could not capitalize as the Nebraska team broke back to force a third-set tiebreaker to decide the match. The tiebreaker went to 5-all before Georgia State fell behind 6-5. Grgan and Tere-Apisah fought off one match point to tie it at 6-all. Looking earn a match point of their own, Tere-Apisah stepped in on a second serve and narrowly missed a forehand return long and down the middle of the court. Facing a match point, Grgan looked to even the match by trying to put away a cross-court volley that just missed and gave Nebraska the win.
“It is unfortunate because we missed a chance to take down the No. 3 seed but that was tennis at the highest level today,” sixth-year head coach Miha Lisac said. “Our girls competed well and executed well. The Nebraska team has two of the toughest competitors in the NCAA and I thought Abby and Masa competed their hearts out on that level today.”
Grgan and Tere-Apisah finish the season with a 14-4 record, including a 3-3 mark against nationally-ranked doubles teams. They were the first Georgia State women’s tennis doubles team to earn a berth in the NCAA Doubles Championships in school history.
Visit the women’s tennis page on GeorgiaStateSports.com next week for a full recap on the 2012-13 Georgia State women’s tennis season.