SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo women's tennis team (2-1, 0-1 SSC) dropped its Sunshine State Conference home opener to the No.4-ranked Barry University Buccaneers (2-0, 1-0 SSC) by a narrow 5-4 margin, Saturday afternoon from the Saint Leo Tennis Center.
The Lions posted a 2-1 doubles lead, but a valiant effort by Barry on the singles side left Saint Leo one win shy of the upset.
The No.12-ranked Lions' tandem of Laura Kemkes and Emily Singleton blew past the No.26-ranked team of Valladares/Krohnen at top flight doubles, 8-3, while Jeanette McDonald and Adrianna Daszkiewicz earned a hard-fought win over Matuszak/Stas, 9-7.
The Buccaneers rallied to take the match lead, 4-3, before Singleton fought off Krohnen in straight-sets, 6-4, 7-6. Unfortunately, a three-set win by Julie Stas over freshman Marie Benkirane, 5-7, 6-0, 6-3, saw Barry solidify the win. Kemkes, however, finished the match on a high note as she upset No.21-ranked Cristina Valladares in three sets, 6-7 (7-5), 7-5, 10-3.
Head Coach James Bryce was still excited depsite the narrow loss, "I am really happy with the way we played today. We had great energy and belief. Unfortunately, we came up just a bit short, but overall we need to use this as momentum for next week."
The Lions will return to action on Tuesday, February 14, when they host the Eckerd Tritons in a non-conference showdown. First serve is set for 3 p.m. from the Saint Leo Tennis Center.
For more on the Saint Leo women's tennis team, visit SaintLeoLions.com.