March 21, 2009
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Kennesaw State women's tennis team climbed back over the .500 mark in Atlantic Sun Conference play after upsetting defending champion Jacksonville 4-3 on Saturday.
"I'm am so excited and proud of our players right now," said Kennesaw State Head Coach Brandon Padgett on the win. "They showed a fight that we haven't seen up until now this season."
The Owls (6-7, 2-1) finished their weekend trip to Florida with an even 1-1 record, moving to 2-1 against the A-Sun. The Dolphins dropped to 9-7 overall and 4-2 in the conference.
A shake-up in the Owls doubles lineup paid off, as the Owls took two of three matches to grab the early lead. Jacksonville struck first with an 8-0 win at No. 2 before KSU fought back with victories at 1 and 3.
Lindsay Dillon, who hasn't played doubles in over a month, joined MacKenzie Swindall to tie the match with an 8-4 victory at No. 3. The Owls two 16-year-old Russian freshmen came up big at No. 1 in just their third match as a team, winning 8-6 to tally the Black and Gold's first point.
Shkundina pushed the Owls further into the lead, winning her 10th match of the season with an impressive 6-4, 6-3 decision over Tatiana Soldatova at No. 1. Ayano Tanaka pushed Elvira Yusupova to three sets at No. 2 but couldn't prevail, eventually losing 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 to push the score to 2-1 in favor of the Owls.
Juliana Umeki evened the score shortly after, overcoming Mercedes Cobos 6-0, 4-6, 6-3 at No. 3. The Dolphins continued their push, taking the lead for the first time after Iva Jaresova ended Agatha Palider's four-match winning streak at No. 4.
Morgan Carney got off the snide at the perfect time, re-tying the match after claiming victory for the first time in a month with a 6-3, 6-4 defeat of Iwinski at No. 5.
The deciding No. 6 match was as close as the rest of the day's action, going to a tiebreaker in the third set before MacKenzie Swindall closed out the upset. Swindall won 6-1, 6-7(5), 7-6(6) over Fernanda Carrero to secure one of the biggest wins in KSU's history at the Division I level.
"Defeating the defending conference champions is an awesome feeling," added Padgett. "I hope this propels us to an excellent conference season."
The team will return to Kennesaw for a Tuesday make-up match against USC-Upstate at the KSU Tennis Complex. The match is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.
KSU 4 Jacksonville 3
#1: Shkundina/Sergeychik (KSU) def. Yusupova/Soldatova (JU) 8-6
#2: Carrero/Umeki (JU) def. Tanaka/Palider (KSU) 8-0
#3: Swindall/Lindsay Dillon (KSU) def. Jaresova/Spencer (JU) 8-4
#1: Vera Shkundina (KSU) def. Tatiana Soldatova (JU) 6-4, 6-3
#2: Elvira Yusupova (JU) def. Ayano Tanaka (KSU) 2-6, 6-1, 6-2
#3: Juliana Umeki (JU) def. Mercedes Cobos (JU) 6-0, 4-6, 6-3
#4: Iva Jaresova (JU) def. Agatha Palider (KSU) 7-6(5), 6-0
#5: Morgan Carney (KSU) def. Iwinski (JU) 6-3, 6-4
#6: MacKenzie Swindall (JU) def. Fernanda Carrero (JU) 6-1, 6-7(5), 7-6(6)