TAMPA, Fla. – The Saint Leo University women’s tennis team (2-8, 1-0 SSC) earned their first conference victory of the 2009 season with a 6-3 decision over the University of Tampa. The win marks the second time this week the Lions have defeated the Spartans.

SLU started off the day impressively, as they won each of the three doubles matches. It did not come easy for SLU though, as each team scored five or more points to make the end of the matches very intriguing.

Lina Benkirane and Lara King teamed together in the No. 1 doubles spot to defeat the Tampa tandem of Holt and Garyn. The two pairs went back and forth exchanging points in a very exciting match. But with the match tied at eights King and Benkirane eventually gained the upper hand in the tiebreaker to win 9-8. Shaena Keefe and Jeanette McDonald teamed together in the No. 2 doubles spot and intrigued fans with another exciting match up. Once again the two teams went back and forth exchanging points until the very end. Bu the Spartans duo could not muster enough energy to stay up with the Lions though, as Saint Leo pulled away at the end of the match, 8-6. Gina Schifano and Taylor Cleaves put the icing on the cake for SLU, as they solidified the sweep with an 8-5 win over Stark and Runge.

After Benkirane took care of Arnold in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, Keefe had a chance to solidify the match for Saint Leo and that’s just what she did. The junior did so in impressive action too, cruising in straight sets 6-2, 6-0. With the match in hand, McDonald added an insurance win as she took down her opponent, Bell, in consecutive sets 6-3, 6-0.

No rest for the weary though as the squad will head right back to the court on Wednesday, March 4 as they take on St. Joseph’s at the SLU Tennis Center. First serve is set for 3:00 pm.