No. 7 Saint Leo Secures Win in Conference First Round over No. 16 Sharks
WINTER PARK, Fla. – The third-seeded Saint Leo women's tennis team earned a 5-1 victory over sixth-seeded Nova Southeastern on Thursday afternoon in the Sunshine State Conference Championships first round. The win advances the seventh-ranked Lions to a mark of 18-4, while the 16th-ranked Sharks drop to an overall record of 13-10.
Saint Leo held a 2-1 advantage after doubles play, with Laura Kemkes and Anastasia Wagner earning the first win of the afternoon with an 8-5 victory over Sabrina Kierberg and Alex Kaeser at the No. 2 flight. Pauline Helgesson and Paula Montoya gave the Lions a 2-0 cushion with an 8-4 win over Alex Johansson and Carlee Rizzolo at the No. 1 slot, but the Sharks battled back and took the third doubles position as Linda Kornienko and Iryna Serdyuk defeated Maria Benkirane and Adrianna Daszkiewicz, 8-5.
Benkirane earned the first singles victory for the Lions at the No. 4 slot, defeating Kornienko 6-0, 6-2 to pull Saint Leo ahead 3-1, followed by Kemkes with an easy 6-0, 6-1 win over Kierberg in the No. 2 slot. Montoya sealed the deal at the No. 5 position, earning a 6-0, 6-2 win over Bianca Roberts to clinch the victory.
Saint Leo advances to the semifinal match, and will square off against the second-seeded, and No. 5 ranked Lynn University Buccaneers on Friday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. on the Tiedtke Tennis Courts located on the campus of Rollins College.
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