#29 Wingate wins SAC title with 8-1 victory at Mars Hill Wednesday
Mars Hill, N.C.----The Wingate University women’s tennis team earned its second consecutive South Atlantic Conference regular season championship Wednesday, taking an 8-1 victory over Mars Hill College at the Hart Tennis Complex. The number 29 Bulldogs (15-4 overall, 8-1 SAC) tie Anderson (S.C.) at the top of the SAC charts, but Wingate will have the number one seed in next week’s Food Lion SAC tournament.
Mars Hill (8-9 overall, 4-4 SAC) dressed only five players, so Wingate entered the afternoon with a 2-0 advantage. Bulldog sophomore Ali Evers (Roswell, Ga.) and freshman Becca Thomas (Alpharetta, Ga.) earned a hard-fought 9-8 (6) victory over Lion senior Erika Pinate (Caracas, Venezuela) and sophomore Tatiana Dualiby (Sao Paulo, Brazil) in the number one doubles match. The triumph put Wingate up 4-0 entering the five contested singles matches.
Wingate junior Kelli Ferguson (Concord, N.C.) clinched the team victory with a 6-1, 6-0 number five singles conquest over Mars Hill senior Jordan Dockery (Gastonia, N.C.). Moments later, Bulldog sophomore Morgan Winston (Lawrenceville, Ga.) earned a walkover victory on court number four.
Thomas defeated Dualiby 7-6 (2), 5-7, 1-0 (8) at the number two flight. Earlier, sophomore teammate Olivia Poole (Boca Raton, Fla.) defeated MHC sophomore Anna Rickenbaker (Charlotte, N.C.) 6-4, 6-4 in the number three singles match. Pinate claimed Mars Hill’s only point with a 7-6 (2), 6-3 victory over Evers in the battle of the number one seeds.
“Mars Hill is a tough team,” Wingate head coach Michael Cabana says. “We had a battle at number one doubles…I was happy we pulled out the top doubles match. It was great to clinch the victory entering the top four singles matches.”
“We played well today,” Cabana says. “I told the ladies before singles…you have worked hard for this…you should enjoy it. I am very excited for them.”
#29 Wingate 8, Mars Hill 1
1. Erika Pinate (MHC) def. Ali Evers (WU) 7-6 (2), 6-3
2. Becca Thomas (WU) def. Tatiana Dualiby (MHC) 7-6 (2), 5-7, 1-0 (8)
3. Olivia Poole (WU) def. Anna Rickenbaker (MHC) 6-4, 6-4
4. Morgan Winston (WU) def. Jazqueline Rouquet (MHC), by default
5. Kelli Ferguson (WU) def. Jordan Dockery (MHC) 6-1, 6-0
6. Tiffany Williams (WU) def. No player (MHC), by default
1. Evers/Thomas (WU) def. E. Pinate/Dualiby (MHC) 9-8 (6)
2. Poole/Williams (WU) def. Rickenbaker/Rouquet (MHC) 8-5
3. Winston/Ferguson (WU) def. No team (MHC), by default
Mars Hill 8-9 overall, 4-4 SAC
Wingate 15-4 overall; 8-1 SAC; Nat’l ranking #29; Regional ranking #6
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (6,5,4,3,1,2)