Saint Leo sends Siedliska to the Division II Small College National Championship final

Saint Leo sends Siedliska to the Division II Small College National Championship final

Tournament Results

SUMTER, S.C. - The Saint Leo tennis program will look to continue to make history on Saturday, as the Lions have advance freshman Natallia Siedliska to the USTA/ITA Division II Small College National Championship match.

Number 2 seed Natalia Siedliska needed a comeback effort in the opening set to fend off No. 3 seed Stephanie Hirsch of Indianapolis, the ITA No. 11 ranked player following the 2015 season, but the Saint Leo freshman showed her grit, overcoming a 5-3 deficit to take the opener 7-6. She followed up the comeback with a 6-3 win to seal her place in the Division II Small College National Championship final. Siedliska will face Alejandra Cisneros from Armstrong State in the finals at 8:30 a.m. EST on Saturday morning. Cisneros, who held the No. 1 spot in singles on the 2015 NCAA National Champion team, finished the 2015 season as the No. 2 player in the Division II ITA rankings. 

"Natalia's opponent came out firing and she was a bit caught off guard," said head coach Chris Frusci. "Natalia did a great job settling in after being down 5-2 in the first and facing a set point. She played a great tie-break and used that as momentum into the 2nd set. Once she started serving well then that became the difference." 

In a hard fought battle, Alberto Barroso-Campos was unable to hold off Armstrong State's senior Pablo Gor. The freshman from Montijo, Spain opened with a 7-6 battle of a win in the first set, but fell 6-4 in the second to force a tie-breaker set. In the third, Gor held on to the lead, winning the set 6-3. The No. 2 seed Gor finished last season as No. 7 in the nation in the Division II ITA rankings. Barroso-Campos will face Max Hepp of Drury in the third place match at 8:30 am on Saturday. Hepp finished the 2015 season with the No. 39 ranking in the DII ITA poll.

"Alberto faced a great competitor today. Pablo is an experienced player who has great energy and never takes a point off. You have to go and get it from him because he doesn't give away any points. Alberto played a great first set but wasn't able to sustain that consistent aggressiveness throughout the match. Three and a half hours on court wore down both opponents so the third set wasn't as high quality. It was a match he needed to get in two sets because he was in control for much of the set."

"Playing at these types of events are great because they give our program notoriety but more importantly help us get the high quality matches we need. If you come out of these matches with some wins, it elevates the confidence level which is so important in tennis."

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