ORLANDO, Fla.—University of Hawai’i women’s tennis player Petra Melounova’s historic season came to an end on Friday as she fell to Texas Tech’s Felicity Maltby, 7-5, 6-0 in the NCAA Women’s Singles Championships Round of 16. Melounova advanced farther than any Rainbow Wahine in the NCAA Tournament, bettering her own mark of winning an NCAA First Round match as a freshman. She finished the season with an overall record of 15-5 on Friday night at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla..
The 61st-ranked Melounova began the match on fire, breaking the 22nd-ranked Maltby twice early on to jump out to a 3-0 lead. Maltby was able to post one game onto the scoreboard as she broke Melounova to cut her deficit to 3-1. But Melounova then won the next two to take a 5-1 lead. Maltby, then turned things around quickly, making adjustments to win the next six-straight games to take Set 1, 7-5.
Maltby continued to roll in the second set, blanking Melounova, 6-0. Maltby reeled off a total of 12 consecutive games to seal the straight-set win. It was only Melounova’s second two-set loss of the season.
The loss snapped Melounova’s nine-match winning streak dating back to March 28 when she knocked of No. 86 Maddie Pothoff of Santa Clara. It marked the first time she was held scoreless in a set since her opening match of the season vs. Washington’s Yang Lee on Jan 4 when Melounova fell in three sets, 5-7, 6-4, 6-0.
But Melounova, who has been drop-serving the entire season due to an injury suffered in the fall, has set several new UH record this season, including…
- First UH player to ever advance to the NCAA Tournament’s Round of 16
- First UH player to ever compete in three NCAA Championships
- First player from UH and first player from Big West Conference since 1996 to advance to NCAA Round of 16 (UC Santa Barbara’s Jean Okada)
- First UH player and just the third Big West player to earn three Big West Player of the Year honors
- Knocked off five higher-ranked opponents this season (#34 Salma Ewing-USC, #30 Julia Rosenqvist – California, #86 Maddie Pothoff – Santa Clara, #60 Jessica Golovin (LSU), and No. 47 Chiara Lommer(Michigan).