GREENVILLE, S.C. – Top-seeded Samford picked up a 4-0 win over No. 8 seed Mercer in the quarterfinals of the 2015 Southern Conference Women’s Tennis Championship at the Mickel Tennis Complex on the campus of Furman University on Friday.
The Bulldogs (14-8), who ran the table in conference play for their first regular-season SoCon title, advance to face No. 4 seed Furman in the semifinals at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Samford quickly picked up the doubles point, taking 8-0 wins at the top two flights to jump out to a 1-0 team lead.
At No. 1, SoCon Player of the Year Stephanie N’tcha and Carita Moolman, a first-team All-SoCon doubles team, cruised past the Bears’ Roxy Bartz and Grace Borta. At No. 2, Samford’s Yasmeen Ebada and Jessica Northcutt, a second-team all-conference duo, shut out Mercer’s Xandra Fougner and Haley Powell.
Northcutt carried that momentum over to singles, where the second-team All-SoCon singles pick rolled to a 6-1, 6-0 win over Bartz at No. 3.
Savannah Wood, also a second-team all-conference singles performer, followed with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Laura Kelly at No. 6 to make it a 3-0 team score, and Iva Parapunova clinched the match with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Liza Klyachkin at No. 5 to send the Bulldogs through to the semis for the second straight season and fourth time since joining the league in 2008.
Mercer saw its season end at 4-18 overall.
Furman 4, UNCG 3
GREENVILLE, S.C. – After UNCG had rallied from a 3-1 deficit, Furman sophomore Ansley Speaks picked up a three-set win over the Spartans’ Stephanie Falcon at No. 2 singles Friday to clinch the fourth-seeded Paladins’ 4-3 win over No. 5 seed UNCG in the quarterfinals of the Southern Conference Women’s Tennis Championship at the Mickel Tennis Complex.
With the teams tied at 3 and a berth in the tournament semifinals on the line, Speaks, the 2014 SoCon Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year and an all-conference performer this season, earned a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win over Falcon to send the Paladins to the semis for the 17th time in as many seasons of the current team format of the tournament.
Speaks’ win capped an exciting match between the squads, as Furman (9-13) jumped out to a 3-1 lead only to see the Spartans (8-12) rally in singles action with wins at Nos. 3 and 6.
The Paladins claimed the doubles point to get things going, as Speaks and Alex Moreno-Kaste, Furman’s all-conference No. 1 doubles team, earned an 8-4 win over UNCG’s Kayla Gammie and Corinne Blythe. At No. 3, Karlee Bryde and Harper Caswell downed Soumeya Anane and Masey DeMoss 8-6 to clinch the point.
UNCG’s Blythe quickly tied things up once the match moved to singles, claiming a 6-2, 6-0 win over Caswell, a second-team All-SoCon selection, at No. 5.
Bryde put Furman back in front with her 6-2, 6-3 win over Amy Ellis at No. 4 singles, while Moreno-Kaste, a first-team all-conference singles pick, pushed the Paladins ahead 3-1 with her 6-1, 6-4 win over Gammie, a second-team all-conference selection, at No. 1.
Anane got the Spartan rally started with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Blair Martin at No. 3 singles, and Jamie Grinberg rallied from a first-set loss to knot the match at 3 with her 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 win over Alejandra Gil at No. 6.
Furman will face No. 1 seed Samford in the semifinals Saturday at 9 a.m.
ETSU 4, Wofford 1
GREENVILLE, S.C. – No. 3 seed ETSU picked up a 4-1 win over No. 6 seed Wofford on Friday in the quarterfinal round of the Southern Conference Women’s Tennis Championship at Furman’s Mickel Tennis Complex.
With the win, the Bucs (14-5) advance to Saturday’s semifinals and will face No. 2 seed Chattanooga at 10 a.m.
ETSU’s No. 2 doubles tandem of Regina Nychytailova and Jessica Brumit got the Bucs off to a fast start with an 8-0 win over Wofford’s Catherine Martin and Mareli Sanchez. ETSU clinched the point when its All-SoCon No. 1 duo of Lyn Yee Choo and Ana Gerbasi topped Kalli Karas and Lauren Reid, 8-2.
SoCon All-Freshman selection Melissa Esguerra made it a 2-0 match with her 6-0, 6-2 win over Sanchez at No. 5 singles, but Reid put Wofford (9-11) on the board with her 6-3, 6-0 win over Jayde Viccars at No. 6, making it 2-1 in the Bucs’ favor.
Another all-freshman pick for ETSU, Ioanna Markesini grabbed a 6-2, 6-3 win over Samantha Russell at No. 4, and All-SoCon first-teamer Choo closed out the win with her 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 win over Martin at No. 1.
ETSU, which spent the last nine years in the Atlantic Sun Conference, is back in the semifinals of the SoCon tournament for the first time since 2005.
Chattanooga 4, Western Carolina 0
GREENVILLE, S.C. – No. 2 seed Chattanooga made quick work of No. 7 seed Western Carolina on Friday, turning in a 4-0 win in the quarterfinals of the 2015 Southern Conference Women’s Tennis Championship at the Mickel Tennis Complex on the campus of Furman University.
The Mocs (18-3) advance to Saturday’s semifinals, where they will face No. 3 seed ETSU at 10 a.m.
Chattanooga’s second-team all-conference doubles team of Kayla Jones and Samantha Caswell opened the scoring with an 8-1 win over Megan McLinden and Nicole Nielly of Western Carolina (6-16) at No. 1, and Kelsey Koots and Kaylene Chadwell clinched the point for the Mocs with their 8-3 win over Shannon Bettiol and Elizabeth Ansari at No. 2.
First-team All-SoCon pick Jones earned a 6-2, 6-0 win over McLinden at No. 1 to make it a 2-0 affair, and Chadwell moved it to 3-0 with her 6-1, 6-2 win over Nielly at No. 3.
Alison Storie clinched the match at No. 5, claiming a 6-1, 6-0 win over Erin Maguire to send the Mocs through to the semis.
Chattanooga has now reached the semifinals three times in the last four seasons.