LUBBOCK, Texas (denverpioneers.com) - The No. 44 DU Pioneers' highly-successful 2017 season came to an end on Saturday at the McLeod Tennis Center as the Crimson & Gold dropped a hard-fought 4-1 decision to No. 7 Texas Tech in the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament. Denver finishes the year with a record of 19-7, an impressive mark which includes the program's first NCAA Tournament win since 2008 as well as a decisive victory in last month's Summit League Championship Match.
No. 17 Team Slattery/O'Loughlin got DU off to a strong start on Saturday, defeating No. 26 Team Federici/Dvorak by a score of 6-1 in the No. 1 Doubles position. Texas Tech took the remaining doubles matches by scores of 6-4 and 6-3 however to go up 1-0 on the Pioneers.
The highly-competitive action carried over into singles play, with Julia O'Loughlin and Maureen Slattery both continuing their strong play by taking the opening sets in their matches versus nationally-ranked opponents Gabriela Talaba (No. 9) and Felicity Maltby (No. 58) in the top two positions. Sophomore Bianca Mok, the hero of Friday's dramatic 4-2 win over No. 25 USC, also took her opening set vs. Alex Valenstein in the No. 3 spot.
Texas Tech took the opening sets in the bottom three singles spots and proceeded to capture match victories in positions 4 & 6 to take a 3-0 lead on Denver but the Pioneers continued to battle hard and demonstrate tremendous resolve as senior Sonja Radosevic forced a third set with Sarah Dvorak in the No. 5 position by taking the second set of their match 6-4. Mok then closed out Valenstein in straight sets to cut TTU's lead to two points. The Red Raiders were able to lay claim to the team win shortly thereafter however as Talaba completed a three-set comeback win in the No. 1 position to give Texas Tech the decisive fourth point and end Denver's run at the Tournament.
The 2017 season is not over for Slattery & O'Loughlin as the dynamic duo has secured a berth in the NCAA Div. I Women's Doubles Tournament by virtue of their strong play and consistently-high ranking throughout the year. This year's national singles/doubles tournament will be staged in Athens, Ga. From May 24-29. Click HERE for more information on this event.