ALL-AMERICAN ZHELTOVA ENDS SEASON WITH LOSS IN THIRD ROUND OF NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
TULSA, Okla. — Sacramento State’s Katrina Zheltova saw her run through the NCAA Div. I Women’s Tennis Singles Championship come to a close on Friday with a 6-4, 6-2 third-round loss to No. 4 Maria Mosolova.
Zheltova concludes the year with a 16-5 overall record, including a 6-3 mark against ranked opponents. She became just the second Hornet to earn All-America honors (Margarita Karnaukhova) after advancing to the third round of the tournament. Zheltova and Karnaukhova are also tied for the furthest advancement in the tournament by a Big Sky women in conference history.
Mosolova improved to 26-3 during the spring and 41-5 overall during her freshman season. The native of Moscow, Russia has now won six straight sets after dropping her opening set to Arizona State’s Kelcy McKenna, 6-4, on Wednesday. In fact, the four games won by Zheltova in the opening set were the most surrendered by Mosolova since that opening set.
Friday’s match was delayed nearly two hours due to rain in Tulsa. Once clear, the players battled humidity near 70 percent and also high winds. After splitting the first four games, Mosolova took control of the first set by winning the next three games to take a 5-2 lead. Zheltova was able to hold serve and then break back before dropping the opening set.
Mosolova used another early break to take a commanding lead in the second set. The dagger for Zheltova came in the seventh game where she had the advantage and a chance to break. However, Mosolova won the final three points to hold serve then broke Zheltova to win the match.