Rain Strikes Again, Final of Florida Blue SSC Women's Tennis Championship Pushed to Sunday
With heavy rains forecasted for the Lakeland area on Saturday, three matches were completed in the Florida Blue SSC Women’s Championship before weather once again ended play early. Barry and Lynn won their semifinal matches, and Nova Southeastern picked up a backdraw victory.
In one semifinal, top-seeded Barry cruised to a 5-0 sweep of fourth-seeded Rollins. Barry won the first two doubles matches in rapid fashion as Mona Mansour and Cristina Valladares beat Kaylie Ragsdale and Lisa Loft 8-3 at the top flight. Olivia Matuszak and Julie Stas rolled to an 8-1 win over Ashley Rosenberg and Mariana Salvador at #2.
Rollins put up a fight at the #3 flight, pushing Caroline Wendling and Linda Fritschken to a tiebreaker before the Bucs duo finally put the Tars away 9-8 (7-2).
Matuszak beat Callie Whitlock, 6-1, 6-0, at #4 singles to give the Buccaneers a 4-0 match lead. Wendling finished it off with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Elissa DeCampli to send Barry to the championship match.
In the other semifinal, No. 2 Lynn defeated No. 3 Saint Leo 5-1. Lynn’s combo of Ioana Ivan and Sabine Krause tallied the first point of the match for Lynn in the top flight with an 8-4 win over Laura Kemkes and Emily Singleton.
The Lions knotted things up after a win at #2 singles. Ana Kriz and Roxane Alexandru fell to the Lions’ team of Adrianna Daszkiewicz and Jeanette McDonald 8-2.
With the match tied at 1-1, Andrea Berkova and Kim Przeszlowski fell behind Saint Leo’s #3 doubles team 3-2 before mounting a comeback and claiming a 9-8 win for Lynn’s second point in the overall match.
The fourth singles slot reached completion first, with Lynn’s Berkova collecting a 6-1, 6-3 victory over McDonald to give the Blue & White a 3-1 tilt in the overall match. Krause, at #2 singles, collected the fourth overall point for Lynn, defeating Singleton 6-3, 6-2 to move the Fighting Knights within one singles victory of an overall match win.
Amassing her first career win in post season play, Alexandru rolled to a 6-0, 6-0 blanking of Phoebe Di Leo at the sixth singles flight to capture the overall win for the Fighting Knights.
Barry and Lynn will meet in the championship final at noon on Saturday at the Beerman Tennis Center.
In a backdraw match, No. 5 Nova Southeastern staved off No. 8 Tampa 5-2. As they did in the first round, the Sharks took a 2-1 advantage after doubles play. The Sharks took an upset in the top flight match against the Spartans, with Alexandra Johansson and Austin Lavallii falling to Lauren Hewett and Meg Wladimirski 8-3.
Despite the upset, the Sharks were still able to move ahead with wins in the second and third flight. Dominique Wimmer and Charlotte Cote breezed past Tampa’s second doubles team of Leslie Raymond and Megan Mancini 8-2. The Sharks’ nearly shutout the Spartans in the third doubles slot, with Daria Burobina and Bianca Roberts defeating Thashia Garcia and Briana Ryan 8-1.
The Sharks took their third point in the fourth singles flight, as Burobina blanked Raymond in the first set and went on to win the match 6-0, 6-2. Tampa evened singles play in the third slot, with Roberts falling to Wladimirski 6-2, 6-2. Cote, who’s singles match against Rollins was halted while she was leading, earned her first singles victory of the weekend in the fifth seed, defeating Mancini 6-2, 6-3.
After the first three singles matches ended, the Sharks needed one more point to seal the tournament victory. At the time, the Sharks had two matches in the middle of a third set, while Johansson had won a close set in the top flight. However, it would be Lavallii in the sixth slot that sealed the win for the Sharks. She defeated Jenelle Morgan in three sets, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4. NSU would not finish their matches in the top-two singles flights.
Florida Tech and Florida Southern were also playing a backdraw match when a potent storm rolled over the Beerman Tennis Center, with FSC up 3-2. That match will be resumed at noon on Sunday. The schedule also calls for the third-place match between Saint Leo and Rollins to be played at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, weather permitting.