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March 11, 2014
TAMPA, Fla. - Despite wins at No. 1 and No. 2 in singles the Nittany Lions (4-9, 0-1 Big Ten) were upended, 5-2, by the SMU Mustangs (5-8, 1-1 AAC) Tuesday afternoon in Tampa, Fla.
The freshman pairing of Katia Blik (Moscow, Russia) and Taylor Shukow (Boca Raton, Fla.) earned their first win together to put the Nittany Lions ahead in the doubles competition, winning 8-3 at No. 3 doubles.
Shortly after, the Mustangs evened things at one point apiece when Hristina Dishkova and Holly Verner topped Carmen Sandor (Toronto, Canada) and Katherine Whiteaway (Sawbridgeworth, England) at the No. 2 match, 8-2.
Marie-Frederique Bedard (Montreal, Canada) and Dasha Sapogova (Minsk, Belarus) took an early lead in a back-and-forth match, eventually taking a 5-4 lead. The Mustangs' Vaszilisza Bulgakova and Dasha Sharapova were able to come back winning four of the final five games to earn the 8-6 victory and secure the early point for SMU.
Yana Erkeeva added to the early lead for the Mustangs, topping Bedard in the No. 4 match, 6-0, 6-1. Blik stormed back soon after to pull the Nittany Lions within one earning her second victory in as many days, besting Dishkova in straight sets, 7-5, 6-2.
Sharapova put the Mustangs back up by two defeating Sandor 6-3, 6-4 in the No. 3 match. After sending the match into a third set, Whiteaway was unable to finish the comeback as Macie Elliot staved off her effort winning the match, 6-2, 3-6, 6-0. The win clinched the victory for SMU.
Sapogova earned her first win playing in the No. 1 singles this season knocking off Vaszilisza Bulgakova, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3. With the win Sapogova tied Bedard for the team-lead in singles victories with 10.
Despite winning the first set in the No. 6 spot, Shukow could not hold off the late rally from Anna Kate Anderson who won the final two sets to take the match, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, and give the Mustangs a 5-2 win.
The Nittany Lions will head back to Happy Valley for a week before traveling to East Lansing, Mich. where they'll return to Big Ten Conference play for a match against Michigan State. The match is set for 2 p.m. on Friday, March 21.