BOCA RATON, Fla. – The Saint Leo women’s tennis team (9-17) concluded their 2009 season with a loss to the University of Tampa, 5-3, in the seventh place match of the Sunshine State Conference Tournament, Saturday evening from Patch Reef Park in Boca Raton, Fla.

Saint Leo opened up the match by dropping two of three doubles contests. And although SLU picked up two singles wins, could not come up with the five wins necessary to secure the match.

Jeanette McDonald and Shaena Keefe gave the Lions there one point in doubles play as they handled the Tampa du of Victoria Bella and Emily Kennedy, 8-2. The Lions nearly had a second doubles point at No. 1 doubles, but the team of Lina Benkirane and Gina Schifano dropped a 7-1 tiebreaker to Kourtney Clark and Claire Runge, as they edged the Lions’ pair 9-8.

The Lions found success in singles play, locking up victories at N o. 1 and No. 2 doubles to draw closer in the match. Lina Benkirane made quick work of Lauren Holt winning 6-0 in the first set before Holt retired after Benkirane claimed a 3-0 lead in the second set. Keefe then slid by Stark in two sets claiming a 6-4, 6-3 victory.

Unfortunately, the Lions dropped singles matches at No. 4, 5 and 6 singles solidifying the match for the Spartans.

The 5-3 loss ends the season for the Green & Gold, as they finished the 2009 season with a 9-17 overall record and an eighth place finish in the SSC Tournament.