Indomitable: FIU tennis sweeps Houston, wins nine straight

FIU tennis vs. Houston CougarsJunior Salma Loudili for FIU (left) and junior Laura Slisane for Houston (right). Photo courtesy of FIU and Houston Athletics.

Brian Olmo | Sports Director

According to the laws of thermodynamics, it’s impossible to build a genuine perpetual motion machine – a contraption that will run forever without an external source of energy to power it.

One look at FIU tennis seems to shatter this perception entirely, as the team powers through the Houston Cougars to win nine straight on March 30 at the Barbara Wallace Winston Tennis Facility.

Right off the first serve, it was clear that the Panthers came into this one with a fire in their eyes. 

Freshman Katerina Mandelikova and junior Salma Loudili pushed their win streak to eight at the No. 3 spot, downing Maria Dzemeshkevich and Gabriela Cortes in a 6-2 barrage. 

Shortly after, sophomore Yasmine Kabbaj and freshman Oyinlomo Quadre clinched the doubles point for the Panthers, knocking out Sonya Kovalenko and Elena Trencheva for their third straight win. 

Houston, down on its luck, hoped to improve in singles play. 

Loudili squashed that hope rather quickly, kicking things off with a dominant 6-0, 6-2 victory over Trencheva to give the junior standout her 11th singles win, a team high. 

Kabbaj followed up with another crushing blow, dispatching Dzemeshkevich in No. 1 singles, 6-0, 6-3, to give FIU a 3-0 edge. 

Quadre would ultimately spell doom for the Cougars, routing Sophie Schouten in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, to keep the Panthers in the win column and send Houston tumbling, 4-0. 

FIU tennis next matchup:

FIU tennis improves to 13-3 overall and looks to keep its streak alive against No. 64 South Florida on April 1 in Houston, TX. First serve is slated for noon.  

Singles competition:

1. Yasmine Kabbaj (FIU) def. Maria Dzemeshkevich (HOU) 6-0, 6-3

2. Laura Slisane (HOU) vs. E. Khairutdinova (FIU) 6-3, 0-6, 0-2, unfinished

3. Oyinlomo Quadre (FIU) def. Sophie Schouten (HOU) 6-4, 6-3

4. Sonya Kovalenko (HOU) vs. Kamila Umarova (FIU) 1-6, 3-5, unfinished

5. Gabriela Cortes (HOU) vs. Katerina Mandelikova (FIU) 3-6, 5-4, unfinished

6. Salma Loudili (FIU) def. Elena Trencheva (HOU) 6-0, 6-2

Order of finish: 6,1,3

Doubles competition:

1. Sophie Schouten/Laura Slisane (HOU) vs. Kamila Umarova/E. Khairutdinova (FIU) 5-5, unfinished

2. Yasmine Kabbaj/Oyinlomo Quadre (FIU) def. Sonya Kovalenko/Elena Trencheva (HOU) 6-2

3. Katerina Mandelikova/Salma Loudili (FIU) def. Maria Dzemeshkevich/Gabriela Cortes (HOU) 6-2

Order of finish: 3,2

Follow Brian Olmo on Twitter at @Brian_Olmo11

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