Tampa, Fla. – For the past half a decade, Barry University has owned the women's tennis rivalry with Lynn University. There has been a change of the tides in 2016 however, as the Fighting Knights defeated the Buccaneers 5-3 on Saturday to claim their 10th Sunshine State Conference Championship and prevent Barry from winning its seventh consecutive tournament title.
INSIDE THE MATCHUP:
Final: Lynn 5, Barry 3
Records: #5 Lynn (21-3), #6 Barry (17-3)
Location: HCC Tennis Complex | Tampa, Fla.
All-time Series: Lynn leads 42-15
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HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The sides split the first and third doubles flights before Carolina Cuevas and Alina Jane came through with a big 8-4 triumph at No. 2, giving Lynn a one-point edge heading into singles.
- Diana Bogolii and Rosalie Willig notched Lynn's first point of the morning, proving yet again they are one of the toughest doubles pairs in the nation with an 8-3 victory at the top flight.
- Barry took the No. 3 match (8-2) for its lone doubles point.
- The Bucs knotted things up right away with a straight-set win at No. 4 singles, but the Blue & White quickly countered at the five and six spots.
- At No. 6, Jane held off Alisa Rudenko late in the second set for a 6-1, 6-4 win right before Gledacheva recorded a 6-2, 6-0 victory at No. 5.
- With the score locked at 4-2, the Fighting Knights needed just one point from the 1-through-3 singles matches. However, the Bucs were up a set at both one and two, but Willig was in control with a first-set tiebreaker win at No. 3.
- Willig was certainly familiar with the pressure situation, being put in this position multiple times throughout the latter half of this season. Barry's 45th-ranked Sonja Larsen tied up the second set 5-5, but 25th-ranked Willig held and broke for the 7-6 (7-3), 7-5 victory to bring the trophy back to Boca Raton.
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE:
- Lynn collects its 10th SSC Championship in women's tennis, one shy of Florida Southern for the most all-time.
- Coming into this season, Barry had won the previous six titles, with the Fighting Knights winning four straight before that.
- Including 2016, Lynn or Barry has claimed the SSC Championship for 19 straight years. North Florida was the last other winner in 1997.
- Lynn's last appearance in the finals was 2012 while its last championship win came in 2009.
- Two of Barry's three losses this season came at the hands of Lynn.
- Willig secured the winning singles point in both matchups against Barry this season.
- The Fighting Knights as a whole now boast 36 SSC Championships.
Lynn now waits for the announcement of the NCAA Division II Tournament regional draw. The NCAA Selection Show is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 3 and can be accessed on NCAA.com.