Lynn zipped past West Florida 5-1 on Thursday morning to claim its spot in the NCAA Division II Women's Tennis Round of 16. The Knights will carry the SSC banner in the national finals with Barry, which advanced to the finals on Wednesday.
At the top doubles flight, Lynn’s No. 3 tandem of Ioana Ivan and Sabine Krause quickly jumped out to an early 3-0 advantage before the Argos’ No. 16 team of Caitlyn Baines and Sheila Smiley collected their first point. The Blue & White’s top team piled on an 8- 3 win to give the Knights their first point of the overall match.
The next two matches saw a tight battle between the Fighting Knights and the Argos. At #2 doubles, Ana Kriz and Roxane Alexandru collected a 3-1 advantage before West Florida’s twin combo of Luiza Sonnervig and Mariana Sonnervig tied the match at 3-3. The LU duo then went up 5-4 but surrendered the next two points to go down 6-5 to West Florida. Both teams held serve with West Florida grabbing the match in an 8-6 win to tie the overall match at 1-1.
In the third doubles flight, no team held more than a two point advantage until Lynn’s Kim Przeszlowski and Andrea Berkova held serve to post the 9-7 win. After breaking the Argonauts and amassing an 8-7 lead, Przeszlowski served the Knights to victory and gave Lynn a 2-1 overall match lead heading into singles.
Giving Lynn its third point of the overall match and first singles win, No. 19 Krause dismantled Sonnervig 6-1, 6-2 at the second singles flight.
At #4 singles, Berkova quickly took set one 6-1 over Smiley but then found the match tied at 6-6 in set two. In the tiebreaker, Berkova dominated in a 7-1 tiebreak win to put Lynn within one point of a Regional Championship.
With the final point of the contest, Alexandru captured a 6-3, 6-4 win at #6 singles over Naomi Higa. Alexandru never trailed the entire match.
The Fighting Knights next head to Louisville, Ky., for the NCAA DII Women’s Tennis Championship May 16-19. Lynn will face Queens College (New York) in the round of 16 on May 16, at 8 a.m. at the Top Gun Academy.
MAY 2 RECAP
Barry punched its ticket to the NCAA DII women's tennis finals with a 5-0 sweep of Saint Leo on Wednesday. Lynn downed Florida Tech 5-1 to earn a spot in the other South Region final opposite West Florida on Thursday. The Argos advanced by downing Florida Southern 5-3.
With its regional title on Wednesday, Barry will play University of the District of Columbia at 11 a.m. on May 16 in the Round of 16 at Louisville's EP Tom Sawyer Park.
The Bucs got pushed in two of the three doubles matches after Olivia Matuszak and Julie Stas rolled to an 8-1 win over Jeanette McDonald and Adrianna Daszkiewicz at the No. 2 pairs spot.
Caroline Wendling and Linda Fritschken battled back and forth with Saint Leo's Maria Benkirane and Selma Hidass, finding themselves in ties at 6-6 and 7-7. But the Bucs No. 3 duo won the next two games to seal the match, 9-7. That gave Barry a 2-0 lead.
Mona Mansour and Cristina Valladares trailed 4-1 to No. 8 Laura Kemkes and Emily Singleton at No. 1 doubles. The Bucs broke Kemke's serve and clawed their way back into the match. Mansour served Barry to two critical game wins to help pull the Buccaneers even at 8-8 after a couple long deuce battles in which the tide turned several times for each team. Mansour's serve and Valladares' putaways at the net helped the Bucs clinch the third doubles point.
Sarah Krohnen, inserted into the No. 6 singles spot to give Mansour a rest, ripped off a 6-0, 6-3 win over Phoebe Di Leo to push Barry's lead to 4-0. Matuszak closed it out with a 6-1, 6-2 No. 4 singles win over McDonald.
This marks the 17th time the women's tennis program has advanced to the site of the national championships in its 22-year history.
In Boca Raton, it took just minutes for Lynn to finish off Florida Tech in a rain-delayed contest. On Tuesday, with Lynn up 4-1 in the overall match and Kim Przeszlowski at #3 singles, the freshman took a 6-4 set one win over Monica Price, and then boasted a 5-1 mark in set two. Przeszlowski went up 15-0 in the game before the skies opened and delayed the match with only three points remaining for a Lynn match victory.
Play resumed at 9 a.m. on Wednesday with all eyes set on Przeszlowski’s match. Taking three of the next four points, Przeszlowski finished things off with a 6-1 win in set two.
Earlier in the contest, Lynn’s top doubles team and third-ranked combo of Sabine Krause and Ioana Ivan made quick work of the No. 12 sister tandem of Katarina Huba and Kristina Huba with an 8-2 win at the top doubles flight. Przeszlowski and Andrea Berkova completed their doubles match next and gave the Blue & White a 2-0 advantage in the overall match. Playing at #3 doubles, Przeszlowski and Berkova tallied a slim 5-4 advantage before capturing the next three points and claiming the match victory.
Down 2-0, Florida Tech answered back with a win at #2 doubles. Ana Kriz and Roxane Alexandru fell to Abigail Grief and Stephanie Dohner 8-4 to put the overall match score at 2-1 in favor of the Fighting Knights heading into singles play.
Continuing her stellar play throughout the season, No. 3 Ivan blanked Katarina Huba in set one, and then rolled to a 6-2 win in the second set to give the Fighting Knights their third point of the overall match. Number six singes finished next with Alexandru cruising to a 6-1, 6-1 win over Keister to make it a 4-1 match in favor of the Blue & White.
With Przeszlowski's win at number three singles coming almost 22 hours after the initial start of her match, Lynn advanced to the NCAA South Region 2 Finals where they will face West Florida at 10 a.m. on Thursday.
West Florida gained its spot in the regional final when it downed a short-handed Flordia Southern squad 5-3 on Wednesday. The Moccasins played without Sabine Goge, who normally plays No. 2 singles and who teams with Magda Riutort at No. 1 doubles. Due to the two-day delay and travel conflicts with her flight back to her home in Latvia, Goge had to miss the match, forcing coach Trish Riddell to adjust her lineup.
In the doubles competition, Pamela Paradis teamed with Riutort for the first time this season and they lost a close 9-7 battle with West Florida's 18th-ranked team of Caitlyn Baines and Sheila Smiley.
Trailing 3-1 after the doubles competition and a West Florida win at No. 3 singles, the Moccasins got straight-set singles wins from Joalis Dominguez at No. 2 and Laura Wichmann at No. 6 to even the match at 3-3. The Argonauts pulled ahead when Smiley won in straight sets at No. 4, then clinched the match when Barbara Oliveira edged Riutort, 6-4, 7-5, at No. 1.
MAY 1 RECAP
Finally, there were some matches played in the NCAA DII Women's Tennis South Region Championship on Tuesday! In Miami Shores, Barry won by virtue of a 5-0 forfeit over Tuskegee, which decided to to head home without playing. In the other actual contest, Saint Leo downed Rollins 5-0. In Boca Raton, Lynn was one point away from defeating Florida Tech before rain postponed the match yet again. Florida Southern and West Florida's match was also delayed once more.
In the one completed match on Tuesday, Saint Leo claimed the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament win, as well as its first ever win over Rollins. Dominating from the onset, Saint Leo went through doubles unblemished, before taking a pair of singles wins in consecutive sets.
Adrianna Daszkiewicz and Jeanette McDonald got the ball rolling for the Lions as they paced the Tars' No.2 slotted team of Ashley Rosenberg and Mariana Salvador 8-4. Battling back from a 3-1 deficit at No.1 doubles, Saint Leo's eighth-ranked team of Laura Kemkes and Emily Singleton surged past Lisa Loft and Kayli Ragsdale for an 8-6 win. The Lions' three-flight tandem of Maria Benkirane and Selma Hidass capped off the sweep as they proved victorious in a back-and-forth struggle with Callie Whitlock and Elissa DeCampli, 8-6.
Needing only two more points to seal the win, Kemkes quickly put the Tars in a nearly insurmountable hole as she dropped Loft at top-flight singles in consecutive sets, 6-1, 6-0. Senior McDonald provided the match point as she overpowered Whitlock at No. 4 singles 6-4, 6-1.
The Lions advance to play Barry at 2 p.m. on Wednesday in the regional championship.
The winners of the first-round matches at each site will face each other in the second round with a trip to the NCAA DII Spring Championships Festival on the line. The Festival will be hosted May 15-19 in Louisville, Ky.
South Region Women's Tennis - Hosted by Barry University
Tuesday, May 1
Noon - Barry 5, Tuskegee 0
3 p.m. - Saint Leo 5, Rollins 0
Wednesday, May 2
2 p.m. - Barry 5, Saint Leo 0
South Region Women's Tennis - Hosted by Lynn University
Wednesday, May 2
9 a.m. - Lynn 5, Florida Tech 1
9:30 a.m. - West Florida 5, Fla. Southern 3
Wednesday, May 3
10 a.m. - Lynn 5, West Florida 1