MALIBU, Calif. - Furman senior Katarina Kozarov concluded play Friday at the Oracle ITA Masters tournament at the Malibu Racquet Club and Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif.
A native of Novi Sad, Serbia, Kozarov beat Shir Azran of Fresno State, 6-1, 6-3, in the main singles draw on Thursday, marking the first Paladin main draw win in the history of the tournament. In Friday's play, 14th-ranked Ashley Lahey of Pepperdine held off Kozarov, 7-5, 3-6, 6-2, at Pepperdine.
Kozarov teamed with Oliver Stuart of Mercer in mixed doubles. The duo blanked Zdenek Derkas and Azran of Fresno State, 6-0, in round one before falling to Daniel Cukierman of USC and Jada Hart of UCLA, 6-2, in the tournament's second round. The first round win was the first doubles main draw victory for Furman in the program's history.
"Today did not go our way, but Katarina was right there with one of the top players in the nation on her home courts," said Furman head coach Adam Herendeen. "She has already proven that she can beat anyone in the country, and this tournament was another good step for her and our team. We learned some things that will help us prepare for the next opportunity."
Now in its fifth year, the Oracle ITA Masters has established itself as one of the premier events of the collegiate tennis season. The tournament featured singles draws of 32 men and 32 women, and a mixed doubles event with a 32-player draw. Players are chosen based upon conference representation, similar to the NCAA Tournament, with Kozarov representing the Southern Conference.