Sixth regular season championship, third perfect A-Sun season
KENNESAW, Ga. (April 13, 2013) – The ETSU women’s tennis team battled off a feisty Kennesaw State squad en route to completing a perfect Atlantic Sun season, 5-2, Saturday afternoon from the Fair Oaks Tennis Center.
With the win, ETSU (13-5, 8-0 A-Sun) takes sole possession of its sixth Atlantic Sun regular season championship, running the table for the third time since joining the league (2006, 2010). As was determined after Friday’s win, the Lady Buccaneers will take the No. 1 seed into next weekend’s A-Sun Tournament Championship.
“Finishing the season undefeated is indicative of the hard work this team puts in on an everyday basis,” said Director of ETSU Tennis Yaser Zaatini, earning his first regular season championship with the women in his third year as their head coach. “I’m extremely proud of how they closed off the match after not playing their best tennis early on.”
“KSU played some passionate tennis and our girls held strong to come away with a great win,” ETSU assistant coach Travis Sandlant said. “To go undefeated in conference is not an easy task and these girls deserve all the credit.”
A couple of perfect individual seasons were blemished in singles. Seniors Antonia Kolovou (Larisa, Greece) and Giulia Andreazza (Balneario Camboriu, Brazil) were each handed their first Atlantic Sun defeats. Virginie Stein downed Kolovou in a match tiebreak, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 1-0 (10-4), and Alexandra Apostu beat Andreazza in three, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, for KSU’s two points on the day. Kolovou finishes the regular season 22-11 overall, 14-3 dual and 7-1 A-Sun, while Andreazza winds up 10-8 overall, 9-6 dual and 6-1 in conference play.
The freshmen picked up their seniors. Lyn Yee Choo (Kuching, Malaysia) became just the second Lady Buccaneer to earn 30 wins on a campaign, cruising by Jana Hueckinghaus, 6-0, 6-1. The win boosted Choo’s record to 30-7 overall, 17-1 dual, finishing the A-Sun season clean at 8-0. Classmate Anna Gerbasi (Caracas, Venezuela) had a tougher match, but ultimately got by Therese Lagerkvist, 7-5, 7-5, for the clincher, moving to 20-9 overall, 11-4 dual and an unscathed 7-0 in the A-Sun.
The two freshmen put their No. 71 doubles ranking on the line as well, defeating Hueckinghaus and Apostu, 8-5, on court one. The two freshmen finish the regular season 24-8 overall as a duo, 14-2 in spring matches and an unblemished 8-0 in the A-Sun.
ETSU’s two other singles winners were Salma Dahbi (Marrakech, Morocco) and Jessica Brumit (Elizabethton, Tenn.), with victories on courts five and six, respectively. Dahbi won a first-set tiebreak to outduel Tamara Plocher, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, and Brumit eased by Isabela Castro, 6-0, 6-2.
The top-seeded Lady Bucs now hope to accomplish higher goals, having cemented the first two.
“Winning the regular season and going undefeated are two of our goals at the beginning of every season,” added Zaatini. “It is part of building our tradition and our strength; we always want to come out and be at the top of the conference. We set our standard in the beginning.
“We look at this objective as being complete. The girls are poised.”
The majority of the new-look Lady Buccaneers will participate in their first A-Sun Championships next weekend. ETSU gets the winner of Friday’s quarterfinal between No. 3 USC Upstate and No. 6 Kennesaw State.
“We have three girls that have been in this situation,” said Zaatini, accounting for the three returners from last year’s tournament in Andreazza, Brumit and sophomore Kelsey Williams (Sunbury, Australia). “Six fresh bodies have never been in that pressure and it is not easy, especially playing in front of your fans. We love having the support of hosting the tournament, but to win with the people you know watching is just added pressure that we have to deal with.”
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