No. 1 Oklahoma State loses to Tennessee, Lucia Peyre hurts knee in Sweet 16 | Sports

Safiya Carrington walked long and slowly to Anastasiya Komar’s bench across court one at the Greenwood Tennis Center. She sat next to her teammate to support him, but neither of them said a word.

Komar’s face sank into a towel on her lap, and when her eyes resurfaced, they saw the Tennessee Ladies Volunteers celebrating. For the first time in 370 days, Oklahoma State women’s tennis lost a match.

And with that, the top-ranked Cowgirls’ quest for a national championship ended 4-2 in the Super Regional.

“It took a lot of things wrong today to beat us and a good effort from Tennessee, but that doesn’t take away from how proud I am of this team,” coach Chris Young said.

OSU started the match strong, securing the doubles point, but its luck made it two games into sophomore Lucia Peyre’s match with former Cowgirl Alana Wolfberg. Peyre’s left knee buckled as she chased the ball near the net.

She collapsed and cried in agony.

A few minutes later, he attempted to play through the injury, but quickly realized his day was over. Assistant coach Jaime Sánchez-Cañamares pulled Peyre off the court and Wolfberg hugged his former teammate before running away crying.

“They spent a lot of time together, so I know that wasn’t easy for her either,” Young said.

Lucía Peyre 2 injury

Assistant coach Jaime Sánchez-Cañamares pulls Lucía Peyre off the court three Saturdays at Greenwood Tennis after the Oklahoma State sophomore injured her left knee.

Lucia Peyre and Alana Wolfberg

Oklahoma State’s Lucia Peyre and Tennessee’s Alana Wolfberg hug after Wolfberg beat injured Peyre (left knee) Saturday at Greenwood Tennis Center. The two women were former teammates.

Now, Peyre only hopes to compete in the NCAA individual championships on May 20, although he does not yet know the severity of the injury.

Tennessee received a crucial point and the game came down to a best-of-five.

“All the girls asked me if it was her ACL,” Young said. “We were cruising through some of the games and that took the life out of all of us… That changed everything.”

Number 3, Ange Oby Kajuru, was the only cowgirl to win her singles match.

Catherine Aulia defeated No. 72 Carrington, 6-4, 6-1.

Kristina Novak lost her first singles match of the season to Esther Adeshina, 6-4, 6-3.

And number 14 Sofía Cabezas came back to beat number 18 Komar, 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (8-6).

No. 84 Ayumi Miyamoto came within two games of forcing a third set with Lauren Anzalotta, but the match was abandoned.

“There were some tough calls that didn’t go his way in the first set,” Young said. “We figured out a game plan late, and I wish she could have finished because I’m sure she could have done it. “She wasn’t going to fall.”

The loss is one of the most disheartening in the history of OSU athletics, and this team may go down as an all-time “What If?” It had a great chance to become the first women’s program to win a college national championship.

The Cowgirls would have needed both Peyre and Miyamoto to win their matches, but Miyamoto was losing and it would be unfair to attribute the loss to a freak accident when there was still plenty of tennis left to play.

“Everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong,” Young said. “Sometimes that’s just sport.”

Komar, Kajuru and Peyre will continue to compete as individuals, depending on their health, and Young will lead as host of the NCAA Championships.

Then the 14-year-old coach will once again build a championship team.

“It all starts tonight, recruiting the next kids and getting everything ready for next year,” he said. “That’s how things work.”