Lakeland, Fla. (February 5, 2008) - The Saint Leo University women’s tennis team (0-1) opened the 2008 season with a 7-2 loss at No. 22 Florida Southern College (1-0) on Tuesday afternoon in Lakeland, Fla.

Ranked #22 in the country and coming off a fifth-place finish at last year's national finals, Florida Southern got off to a fast start by winning all three doubles matches.

Southern continued its strong play by winning four of the six singles matches.  However, Saint Leo’s Asmaa Tazi (Jr., Casblanca, Morocco) earned the Lions a win at the number two singles slot, outlasting Karolina Stochlova in a three-set match.  Tazi won the opening set 6-4, lost the second set by the same margin and then won the super-tiebreak 10-5.

The Lions also secured a win in the battle of number five players with Gina Schifano (So., Tampa, Fla.) also winning a three setter.  Schifano rallied from a 6-4 loss in the opening set, taking the second set 6-1 before clinching the second point for SLU with a 10-6 win in the super-tiebreak.

Saint Leo will return to the court on Wednesday, February 13 with a home match versus Webber International University.

Doubles competition
1. Senka Softic/Karolina Stochlova (FSC) def. Lina Benkirane/Asmaa Tazi (SL) 8-4
2. Erin Conroy/Ashley Hungerford (FSC) def. Taylor Cleaves/Shaena Keefe (SL) 8-5
3. Nora Baertschi/Veronika Kovacikova (FSC) def. Veronica Queen/Gina Schifano (SL) 9-8

Singles competition
1. #11 Senka Softic (FSC) def. Lina Benkirane (SL) 6-3, 6-1
2. Asmaa Tazi (SL) def. Karolina Stochlova (FSC) 6-4, 4-6, 10-5
3. Erin Conroy (FSC) def. Shaena Keefe (SL) 6-3, 4-6, 10-7
4. Ashley Hungerford (FSC) def. Veronica Queen (SL) 6-3, 6-0
5. Gina Schifano (SL) def. Nora Baertschi (FSC) 4-6, 6-1, 10-6
6. Veronika Kovacikova (FSC) def. Taylor Cleaves (SL) 6-0, 6-1