Seventh-Ranked Saint Leo Topples No. 5 Fighting Knights in Semifinals for Second Straight Season
WINTER PARK, Fla. – The seventh-ranked and No. 3 seed Saint Leo women's tennis team upended No. 5-ranked and second seeded Lynn University in Sunshine State Conference Semifinal action on Friday afternoon by a score of 5-4. The win marks the second straight year Saint Leo has unseated the Fighting Knights in the semifinals, and the second straight year the Lions advance to the SSC Championship match.
The win advances the Lions' record to 19-4 on the season, while Lynn drops just its third match of the spring season, and drops to a mark of 21-3.
The Green and Gold held fell behind early as the Lynn duo of Vale Confalonieri and Rosalie Willig defeated Pauline Helgesson and Paula Montoya, 8-1 in the top flight. The Lions battled back, taking the second slot, 8-2 as Laura Kemkes and Anastasia Wagner defeated Alina Jane and Kim Przeszlowski to knot the score at 1-1.
The Lions extended their lead by two to kick off singles play as No. 47 Wagner defeated No. 36 Berkova, 6-1 in the first set before Berkova retired.
No. 1-ranked Confalonieri pulled Lynn back to within one, 3-2, as she defeated Coralie Pesenti in the top flight, 6-2, 6-2, and No. 46 Willig knotted the score at 3-3 with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Kemkes at the No. 2 spot.
Benkirane put the Lions in the lead once again with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Jane at No. 4 singles, but Vukadinovic evened the tally once again with a win at the No. 6 position as she defeated Daszkiewicz, 6-2, 6-2, to set the score at 4-4.
Montoya clinched the victory at No. 5, defeating Przeszlowski in a hard-fought 6-3, 7-5 final to advance the Lions to their second-straight SSC Championship match.
The Lions will take on top-seeded, and No. 1-ranked Barry University on Saturday afternoon at the Martin Tennis Complex on the campus of Rollins College. Match time against the Buccaneers is slated for 12:30 p.m. Live video and scoring of the championship match will be available at the championship central page, here.
For the latest news, updates, and information on the Saint Leo women's tennis team, be sure to visit SaintLeoLions.com. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Lions news by following Saint Leo Athletics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.