No. 59 North Texas (17-6) advances to the championship match to face No. 2 seed FIU (7-14) on Sunday, April 22. The Pioneers end their season with a 12-11 record.
North Texas was able to gain the early 1-0 advantage by taking the doubles point with wins on courts one and three. Irina Paraschiv and Paula Dinuta beat Caroline Schnell (Greenwood Village, Colo.) and Natalie Dunn (Fort Collins, Colo.) 8-3 at the No. 3 position. A pair of all-conference duos battled on the No. 1 court, but Barbora Vykydalova and Nadia Lee were able to secure the doubles point for the Mean Green by edging DU's Sophia Bergner (Schechen, Germany) and Steffi Rath (Hochst, Austria) 8-5.
Dinuta moved North Texas ahead 2-0 with a 6-1, 6-3 victory at the No. 6 position over Dunn, but DU's Emma Isberg (Tyreso, Sweden) cut into NT's lead with a 6-2, 6-3 win on court four over Vykydalova.
On court two, Lee moved the Mean Green ahead 3-1 with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Elena Najera-Salas (San Diego, Calif.).
Rath rallied after dropping the first set to Ilona Serchenko to cut into NT's lead with a 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 victory over at the No. 5 position.
With the match coming down to courts one and three, Valentina Starkova was able to hold on to defeat Schnell 6-2, 5-7, 7-5 on court three to secure the win for the Mean Green.
Visit www.DenverPioneers.com for the most comprehensive coverage of Denver women's tennis, as well as all of DU's 17 athletic programs.
Sun Belt Conference Women's Tennis Championship Semifinal
Denver vs. North Texas
April 21, 2012 at Denton, Texas
Waranch Tennis Complex
#59 North Texas 4, Denver Pioneers 2
1. Kseniya Bardabush (NT) vs. Sophia Bergner (DEN-W) 4-6, 7-5, 3-4, unfinished
2. Nadia Lee (NT) def. Elena Najera (DEN-W) 6-1, 6-2
3. Valentina Starkova (NT) def. Caroline Schnell (DEN-W) 6-2, 5-7, 7-5
4. Emma Isberg (DEN-W) def. Barbora Vykydalova (NT) 6-2, 6-3
5. Steffi Rath (DEN-W) def. Ilona Serchenko (NT) 5-7, 6-2, 6-3
6. Paula Dinuta (NT) def. Natalie Dunn (DEN-W) 6-1, 6-3
1. Nadia Lee/Barbora Vykydalova (NT) def. Sophia Bergner/Steffi Rath (DEN-W) 8-5
2. Valentina Starkova/Kseniya Bardabush (NT) vs. Elena Najera/Emma Isberg (DEN-W) 7-5, unfinished
3. Irina Paraschiv/Paula Dinuta (NT) def. Caroline Schnell/Natalie Dunn (DEN-W) 8-3
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (6,4,2,5,3)