INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., April 14 - Southern Utah split a pair of tennis matches Saturday but the win was a big one as the Thunderbirds posted a 4-3 win over South Dakota State in the regular-season finale' to claim the fourth spot in The Summit League tournament.

SUU lost a 4-0 decision to league-leading Oral Roberts in a morning match played at West Indianapolis Racquet Club. After the Golden Eagles won the doubles point the coaches agreed to play only until the match was decided, which wound up being a sound strategy for the Thunderbirds, who had the critical match with South Dakota State slated for the afternoon.

SUU got off to a good start against SDSU, winning the doubles point, which wound up a crucial point in the Thunderbird win. Alex Ivanova and Olia Tatarchenko defeated Brooke Henry and Jenny Blackburne, 8-6, at No. 1 doubles while Ksusha Johnson and Lisa Pleskan upended Megan McDouogal and Bryna Nasenbeny, 8-5, at the second spot to claim the point for the Thunderbirds.

In singles SUU swept first through third singles, with Tatartchenko dispatching Henry 6-0, 6-3 at No. 3 to make it 2-0 SUU and Johnson getting past Nasenbeny 6-4, 6-2, to give the Thunderbirds a 3-0 lead. Ivanova had to go three sets against Blackburn to clinch the win, but she prevailed 6-1, 2-6, 6-4.

Pleskan and Afton Staheli also battled but both lost in three sets, as McDougall outlasted Pleskan, 3-6, 6-6, 6-2 and Natalia Medina was able to get past Staheli, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

SUU is now off until the Summit League tournament, which begins April 27 in Kansas City. The Thunderbirds will face Oral Roberts in the first round of the tourney.

Tennis Match Results

Southern Utah vs. Oral Roberts

Apr 14, 2012 at Indianapolis, Ind.

Oral Roberts 4, Southern Utah 0

Singles-

#1 - Iryna Khatsko (ORU) def.  Ksusha Johnson (SUU) 6-1, 6-3

#2 - Alex Ivanova (SUU) led Lina Semenova (ORU) 3-1

#3 - Olia Tatarchenko (SUU) led Haley Martin (ORU) 6-4, 4-3

#4 - Kristin Gray (ORU) and Lisa Pleskan (SUU) DNP

#5 - Marizanne Bouwer (ORU) def. Afton Staheli (SUU) 6-3, 6-2

#6 - Tori Dollar (ORU) won by default

Order of finish: 6, 5, 1

Doubles-

#1 - Martin/Semenova (ORU) led Ivanova/Tatarchenko (SUU) 4-3

#2 - Khatsko/Gray (ORU) def. Johnson/Pleskan (SUU) 8-1

#3 - Bouwer/Dollar (ORU) won by default

Order of finish: 3, 2

Tennis Match Results

South Dakota State University vs Southern Utah

Apr 14, 2012 at Indianapolis, Ind.

Southern Utah 4, South Dakota State University 3

Singles

1. Ksusha Johnson (SUU) def. Bryna Nasenbeny (SDSUW) 6-4, 6-2

2. Alex Ivanova (SUU) def. Jenny Blackburne (SDSUW) 6-1, 2-6, 6-4

3. Olia Tatarchenko (SUU) def. Brooke Henry (SDSUW) 6-0, 6-3

4. Megan McDougall (SDSUW) def. Lisa Pleskan (SUU) 3-6, 6-4, 6-2

5. Natalia Medina (SDSUW) def. Afton Staheli (SUU) 3-6, 6-4, 6-3

6. Anna Botzet (SDSUW) def. No player (SUU), by default

 Doubles

1. Alex Ivanova/Olia Tatarchenko (SUU) def. Brooke Henry/Jenny Blackburne (SDSUW) 8-6

2. Lisa Pleskan/Ksusha Johnson (SUU) def. Megan McDougall/Bryna Nasenbeny (SDSUW) 8-5

3. Bethany Goeden/Natalia Medina (SDSUW) def. No player/No player (SUU), by default