FIU tennis wins third straight, routs Michigan State in 4-1 victory

Freshman Ekaterina Khairutdinova for FIU (left) and Junior Ayshe Can for Michigan State (right). Photo courtesy of FIU Athletics.

Brian Olmo | Sports Director 

FIU tennis keeps the rackets blazing hot, as they scorch the Michigan State Spartans 4-1 for their third straight victory on Tuesday, March 7 at the FIU Tennis Courts. The team came into this one ranked No. 35 in the nation after their top-40 win against Maryland.

Junior Salma Loudili and freshman Katerina Mandelikova opened the game for the Panthers with a pulverizing 6-0 beatdown over the Spartans Nicole Conard and Juliette Nask. 

Sophomore Yasmine Kabbaj and freshman Oyinlomo Quadre kept the momentum going, notching their seventh straight win at the No. 2 position, 6-4, against Dagmar Zdrubecka and Marley Lambert. This gives Kabbaj and Quadre an 8-2 record on the season at the No. 2 spot. 

Kabbaj earned her third straight victory, 6-4, 6-2, over Liisa Vehvilainen to push the lead to three after Loudili won in straight sets against Issey Purser, 6-2, 7-6, at No. 6 singles. At this point, the Panthers were rolling and the Spartans had no answer. 

Michigan State earned their only point at No. 2 singles when freshman Ekaterina Khairutdinova fell to Ayshe Can, 3-6, 4-6. 

This victory would be short-lived, however. 

Smelling blood in the water, Quadre cracked through the Spartans’ phalanx formation with a 7-5, 6-1, victory over Lambert at No. 3 singles to secure the 4-1 win for the Panthers.

The Panthers aim to protect their home court in their next game against Middle Tennessee. Can FIU remain flawless at home? 

First serve is set for Wednesday, March 8 at noon.

Singles competition

1. Yasmine Kabbaj (FIU) def. Liisa Vehvilainen (MSU) 6-4, 6-2

2. Ayshe Can (MSU) def. Ekaterina Khairutdinova (FIU) 6-3, 6-4

3. Oyinlomo Quadre (FIU) def. Marley Lambert (MSU) 7-5, 6-1

4. Nicole Conard (MSU) vs. Kamila Umarova (FIU) 6-7, 3-2, unfinished

5. Juliette Nask (MSU) vs. Katerina Mandelikova (FIU) 6-4, 1-6, 1-0, unfinished

6. Salma Loudili (FIU) def. Issey Purser (MSU) 6-2, 7-6

Order of finish: 6,1,2,3

Doubles competition

1. Ayshe Can / Liisa Vehvilainen (MSU) vs. #62 Ekaterina Khairutdinova / Kamila Umarova (FIU) 5-4, unfinished

2. #56 Yasmine Kabbaj / Oyinlomo Quadre (FIU) def. Marley Lambert / Dagmar Zdrubecka (MSU) 6-4

3. Salma Loudili / Katerina Mandelikova (FIU) def. Nicole Conard / Juliette Nask (MSU) 6-0

Order of finish: 3,2

Follow Brian Olmo on Twitter at @Brian_Olmo11

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