For the second straight year, Armstrong Atlantic bested Lynn to win the NCAA Division II Women's Tennis Championship. Ironicially, the Pirates also won by the same 5-2 tally. For a day-by day recap of all NCAA tennis action, read on.
SSC schools claimed six of 10 South Region slots in the NCAA Division II Women's Tennis Championships. Lynn was selected to host preliminary-round action May 7-9.
Barry, Florida Tech, and Rollins will travel to Lynn to compete. They will be joined by Flagler. Florida Southern and Nova Southeastern will head north to Valdosta State. They will be joined by Tuskegee and West Florida.
Brackets for all 16 preliminary-round sites are available here. The winner at each preliminary tournament will advance to the NCAA DII finals, which will be hosted May 13-16 at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Fla. The Central Florida Sports Commission and Rollins College are serving as hosts.
The South Region was one of three to receive 10 bids to the NCAA Championship, with the Atlantic and Southeast regions also claiming 10 slots. Bid allocation per region was based on the number of schools sponsoring women's tennis in each region. The fewest number of bids for any one region was four.
THURSDAY, MAY 7:
Florida Tech and Nova Southeastern kicked things off at the NCAA DII Women's Tennis South Regional with mixed results on Thursday. Playing in Boca Raton, Tech dropped a 5-1 decision to Flagler. In Valdosta, NSU rolled to a 5-0 win over Tuskegee. The Sharks' victory earns them a second-round match-up against host Valdosta State on Friday.
FRIDAY, MAY 8:
In a busy day of action, Lynn and Barry emerged as the SSC's victorious teams in the South Regional on Friday. Their victories, however, came in dramatically different fashion. Lynn cruised to a 5-0 win over Flagler, while Barry battled to a hard-fought 5-4 win over SSC foe Rollins. Angie Werschel picked up the match-clinching point for the Buccaneers, downing Roshni Luthra 0-6, 6-4, 7-6 (10-8) in the #1 singles slot. Those results set up a showdown of the two of the league's biggest rivals. The Knights and Bucs will play at 11 a.m. Saturday, with the winner advancing to the NCAA DII Women's Tennis Finals in Altamonte Springs next week.
In other action on Friday, the SSC's other two representatives didn't fare as well in Valdosta. Nova Southeastern fell 5-0 to the host Blazers, while Florida Southern dropped a 5-0 decision to West Florida.
SATURDAY, MAY 9:
Lynn continues to win in impressive fashion, this time finishing off Barry 5-0 to win its half of the South Region bracket and advance to the finals in Altamonte Springs. The Knights' performance marked their 10th consecutive shutout. Next on the docket will be Bloomsburg in the Round of 16 on Wednesday, May 13. The match will be contested at Sanlando Park.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 13 (NCAA Round of 16):
Another day, another shutout for the No. 2 Lynn women's tennis team. Wednesday's victim was No. 30 Bloomsburg in Round of 16 action. With the win, the Fighting Knights move on to the quarterfinals, where they will face the top-ranked team in DII, BYU-Hawaii. The Seasiders advanced with a 5-1 win over No. 7 Francis Marion on Wednesday. Both teams will enter Thursday's quarterfinals undefeated, as Lynn is 26-0, and BYU-Hawaii is 27-0.
FRIDAY, MAY 15 (NCAA Quarterfinals):
In a match that halted on Thursday afternoon with Lynn up 1-0, the No. 2 Fighting Knights chalked four more points Friday morning to hold off No. 1 BYU-Hawaii 5-3 in quarterfinal action. On Thursday, the #3 doubles duo of Jessica Yanoff and Tessie Salame had picked up one point to give the Knights the early lead. On Friday morning, the #2 tandem of Magdalena Ekert and Alisson Siaci also won their doubles match to give Lynn a 2-1 advantage heading to singles action.
Siaci and Salame would also come up with big wins in singles. Salame claimed a 6-4, 6-0 win at #6, and Eleonora Iannozzi notched a 7-6 (3), 6-3 victory in the #3 slot. Siaci battled back for a 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 win at #5 to clinch the match-winning point for Lynn.
There will be little time to rest for the Fighting Knights, as they'll take the courts again at 3 p.m. Friday for a semifinal match against No. 6 Abilene Christian. ACU cruised to a 5-0 shutout over No. 48 Concordia in a quarterfinal match that was also picked up Friday morning because of Thursday's rain.
FRIDAY, MAY 15 (NCAA Semifinals):
Any fatigue that may have plagued No. 2 Lynn after a hard-fought quarterfinal win over top-ranked BYU-Hawaii wasn't evident in Friday afternoon's semifinal, as the Fighting Knights topped No. 6 Abilene Christian 5-2 to earn a spot in Saturday's NCAA DII women's tennis final. The Knights found themselves at a 2-1 disadvantage after doubles play, with Jessica Yanoff and Tessie Salame getting the lone point in the #3 position.
Lynn quickly made up the difference with a quartet of straight-set singles victories. Magdalena Ekert notched a 6-0, 6-3 win in the #2 slot. Eleonora Iannozzi took a 6-4, 6-2 victory at #3. The #4 position also went in the Knights' favor, with Yanoff rolling to a 6-1, 6-2 win. Salame found little resistence in the #6 slot, taking a 6-0, 6-0 victory.
With the win, the Knights will get a chance at redemption against No.3 Armstrong Atlantic. Last spring, the Pirates chalked a 5-2 win over Lynn in the women's final to take home the championship trophy. AASU earned the opportunity to defend its title by virute of a 5-1 win over No. 4 Valdosta State in Friday's other semifinal. Saturday's rematch will be contested at 1 p.m. at Sanlando Park. A link for live scoring appears below.
SATURDAY, MAY 16 (NCAA Final):
The 2009 NCAA DII Women's Tennis Championship match had an eerily similar feel to the 2008 title match, with Armstrong Atlantic again beating Lynn 5-2 to win the national crown. The No. 3 Pirates jumped out to an early 2-1 lead, with the #3 tandem of Tessie Salame and Jessica Yanoff winning the No. 2 Knights' lone doubles point.
Unfortunately for the Blue and White, the momentum carried into singles play, as AASU won three of the four finished matches to defend its title. Salame was again a bright spot in the #6 position, picking up a 6-1, 6-0 victory. Yanoff battled hard in the #4 match, but ultimately dropped a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 decision to No. 19 Gabriella Kovacs to give the Pirates the match-cliniching win.
Lynn concludes its season with an impressive 28-1 record.
Lynn Regional Tournament Coverage
Valdosta State Regional Tournament Coverage
NCAA DII Men's and Women's Tennis Championship Coverage (Including Live Stats)