Lions Drop Hard-Fought Battle to Conference Foe
SAINT LEO, Fla. – The seventh-ranked Saint Leo women's tennis team was up 2-1 after doubles play, but couldn't hold on as they fell to 10th-ranked Florida Southern by a score of 5-4 on Wednesday afternoon at the Saint Leo Tennis Center. The loss snaps a 12-match win streak for the Lions, and drops them to a mark of 14-4 and 3-3 in Sunshine State Conference play. Florida Southern advances its record to 13-3, and 3-2 in conference.
The Lions fell to an early deficit after falling at the top flight in doubles play, 8-4, with the No. 12 duo of Magda Riutort and Sabine Goge defeating No. 24 Paula Montoya and Anastasia Wagner. But Saint Leo was not about to back down, and took the remaining two, beginning with the No. 2 seed tandem of Laura Kemkes and Coralie Pesenti taking down the FSC duo of Olivia Spagnuolo and Dominique Friedrichs by a tally of 8-5.
Benkirane extended the Lions' lead to 3-1 with a win to open singles play, making easy work of Spagnuolo at the No. 4 flight, 6-0, 6-0, but No. 40 Riutort pulled the Mocs to within one, taking down Pesenti in the top seed, 7-5, 6-1.
Kemkes battled back and secured a 6-2, 6-1 win over Dominguez at No. 3 singles, but No. 44 Goge closed the gap once again as she defeated No. 47 Wagner, 6-2, 6-1 at the No. 2 position to set the overall tally at 4-3.
Florida Southern secured the final two flights to earn the upset victory, beginning with a drawn out 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 win at the No. 6 position as Wichmann defeated Daszkiewicz to pull the score to an even 4-4. Friedrichs clinched the win with a hard fought victory over Montoya at the No. 5 seed, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1.
The Saint Leo women's tennis team returns to action on Saturday, April 5, when they travel to take on Eckerd College in Sunshine State Conference action. Match time agains the Tritons is slated for 11 a.m.
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