Altamonte Springs, Fla. – Lynn University's third-ranked women's tennis squad appeared in top form on Friday morning in the NCAA Division II National Semifinals. The Fighting Knights commanded doubles play before sweeping No. 6 Hawaii Pacific University, 5-0, to secure a spot in tomorrow's national championship match against Barry University.
INSIDE THE MATCHUP:
Final: Lynn 5, HPU 0
Records: #3 Lynn (24-2), #6 HPU (16-6)
Location: Sanlando Park | Altamonte Springs, Fla.
All-time Series: Lynn leads 4-0
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- "These young women have shown the ability to rise to the occasion in all circumstances. We played with a lot of skill and heart today in the semifinals and look forward to the opportunity to play a tremendous Barry team. I know the women will give their all, and let the cards fall where they may." – head coach Mike Perez.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The Fighting Knights played their cleanest doubles so far this week, boasting a useful 3-0 advantage heading into singles competition.
- Following a setback in the Round of 16, Tereza Hejlova and Martina Gledacheva have bounced back with two key victories since. The duo at No. 3 started off the scoring with an 8-0 rout over the Sharks.
- 11th-ranked Diana Bogolii and Grace Mpassy continue to dominate the No. 2 doubles flight, improving to 18-0 on the season with an 8-2 victory.
- Third-ranked Rosalie Willig and Stefanie Stemmer found the Sharks' only ranked doubles tandem at the top flight, securing the sweep with an 8-5 win.
- The Fighting Knights got off to a strong start in singles action, winning four of the five completed first sets.
- Gledacheva quickly inched the Blue and White closer to the national championship with a dominating 6-1, 6-1 victory at No. 5 singles.
- It was a race to the finish for Lynn's fifth and final point as multiple Fighting Knights neared in on victory.
- In a battle of top-20 singles players, Lynn's 17th-ranked Willig put the nail in the coffin with a 6-1, 6-2 triumph at No. 2 singles over 16th-ranked Lara Meccico.
- Mpassy led 6-1, 5-3 at the top flight and Hejlova was points away at No. 6 (6-3, 5-1).
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE:
- The Blue and White return to the national championship match for the first time since a national runner-up finish in 2011. It is their ninth time appearing in the national championship match, four more than any other team in the conference.
- The last time the Fighting Knights were in the national championship match, they also played Barry.
- Lynn improves its season-long doubles record to 75-3 (.962). The highest doubles winning percentage Lynn has ever finished with in program history was in 2008 (.885; 77-10).
- Bogolli and Mpassy each remain undefeated in doubles this season at 26-0 and are 18-0 when playing together. They are both the first players in program history to win at least 25 doubles matches in a season without a loss.
- Lynn's only two losses this season have been 5-4 setbacks at the hands of Barry.
- Lynn leads the Sunshine State Conference with three women's tennis national titles. Barry is close behind at two, winning the most recent title for a SSC member in 2014. In 2011, Barry defeated Lynn for their first tennis national title in the only All-SSC women's tennis national title match.
- The women's tennis team and coach Perez are in search of their seventh national championship (3 NCAA, 3 NAIA).
The two South Florida, SSC foes battle it out for the ultimate glory tomorrow morning, Saturday, May 13th at 9 a.m. from Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Fla. Fans can watch the live broadcast HERE with live score updates found HERE.