#10 Francis Marion takes 5-1 NCAA victory over #29 Wingate Sunday
Columbus, Ga.----Francis Marion University swept the doubles and earned two singles decisions to take a 5-1 victory over Wingate University in the first round of the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional women’s tennis tournament at the Mary V. Blackmon Tennis Center Sunday. The number 10 Patriots improve to 18-3 overall, while the number 29 Bulldogs complete their South Atlantic Conference regular season and tournament championship season 18-5 overall.
Wingate freshman Tiffany Williams (Cary, N.C.) defeated FMU sophomore Caitlin Siney (Harare, Zimbabwe) 6-3, 6-1 at the number six singles flight. The victory cut the Bulldog deficit to 4-1. Moments later, Patriot freshman Julia Graf (Aerzen, Germany) clinched the triumph with a 6-0, 6-2 triumph over Bulldog junior Kelli Ferguson (Concord, N.C.) on court five.
Francis Marion senior Jitka Gavdunova (Vejprty, the Czech Republic) recorded the Patriots’ fourth point with a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Wingate sophomore Ali Evers (Roswell, Ga.) at the number one singles flight. Gavdunova is ranked number 11 among NCAA Division II women’s tennis players. Earlier in the day, Gavdunova and junior Mona Blauen (Cologne, Germany) defeated Evers and freshman Becca Thomas (Alpharetta, Ga.) 8-1 at the number one doubles position.
Graf and junior Tereza Baranova (Frýdlant nad Ostravicí, Czech Republic) followed with an 8-2 victory over Williams and sophomore Olivia Poole (Boca Raton, Fla.) at the second doubles flight. The Patriot tandem of junior Kerry Hall (Westville, Natal) and sophomore Kimberley Hurter (Cape Town, South Africa) claimed a hard-fought 8-5 decision over Ferguson and sophomore Morgan Winston (Lawrenceville, Ga.) on court number three to complete the doubles sweep.
“We played a tough match against one of the top teams in the nation,” Wingate assistant coach Erin Godly says. “The match was much closer than the final score indicates.”
The Bulldogs led two of the three unfinished matches. Thomas led NCAA number 21 ranked Blauen 6-5 at the number two singles flight. Winston won the first set 6-4 against Hurter on court number four. NCAA number 43 Baranova led Poole by a slim 5-4 margin at the number three singles position.
Number six seed Wingate was making its 11th appearance in the NCAA Division II play-offs. Francis Marion advances to the Columbus regional championship match Monday. The number three seed Patriots will face NCAA Division II number seven Columbus State at 2 p.m. The number two seed CSU Cougars blanked number 30 Georgia College 5-0 to advance to the title contest. The GCSU Bobcats were the number seven seed.
Women’s Tennis Match Results
April 29, 2012 at Columbus, Ga.
#10 Francis Marion 5, #29 Wingate 1
1. #11 Jitka Gavdunova (FMU) def. Ali Evers (WU) 6-0, 6-0
2. Becca Thomas (WU) led #21 Mona Blauen (FMU) 6-5, unfinished
3. #43 Tereza Baranova (FMU) led Olivia Poole (WU) 5-4, unfinished
4. Morgan Winston (WU) led Kimberley Hurter (FMU) 6-4, unfinished
5. Julia Graf (FMU) def. Kelli Ferguson (WU) 6-0, 6-2
6. Tiffany Williams (WU) def. Caitlin Siney (FMU) 6-3, 6-1
1. Gavdunova/Blauen (FMU) def. Evers/Thomas (WU) 8-1
2. Baranova/Graf (FMU) def. Poole/Williams (WU) 8-2
3. Hurter/Kerry Hall(FMU) def. Winston/Ferguson (WU) 8-5
Francis Marion 18-3; National ranking #10; Regional ranking #3
Wingate 18-5; National ranking #29; Regional ranking #5
2012 NCAA Tournament First Round Southeast Region Bracket 2
#6 seed Wingate vs. #3 seed Francis Marion