May 9, 2010

Courtesy of AASU

SAVANNAH, Ga. - The two-time NCAA Division II defending national champion Armstrong Atlantic State women's tennis team advanced to the 2010 NCAA DII Women's Tennis Championships Round of 16 with a 5-1 win over Francis Marion on Saturday morning at Bacon Park.

The No. 1-ranked Lady Pirates (29-0) make their 16th consecutive trip to the Round of 16, the longest current active streak among Division II schools, and also return to the site of their 2005 and 2009 National Championships at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Fla. AASU will begin play on Wednesday, May 12, against Northeastern State (Okla.). No. 14-ranked Francis Marion ends its 2010 season at 17-6.

Armstrong Atlantic took a 2-1 lead after doubles play. No. 21-ranked Kathleen Henry and Tina Ronel blanked Karine Augur and Kerry Hall, 8-0, at No. 3 doubles while No. 4-ranked Gabriella Kovacs - less than an hour after walking in AASU's graduation ceremony downtown - and Sona Novakova downed No. 13-ranked Mona Blauen and Jitka Gavdunova, 8-1, at No. 2 doubles. Francis Marion's doubles point came at No. 1 doubles as second-ranked Sabina Baberadova and Tereza Sykorova bested No. 3-ranked Martina Beckmann and Alida Muller-Wehlau, 8-3.

The Lady Pirates notched a quick 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 6 singles by 41st-ranked Henry over Augur. 27th-ranked Beckmann then bested Hall, 6-0, 6-3, at No. 5 singles, and second-ranked Novakova clinched the match with a 6-1, 6-1 win over No. 10-ranked Sykorova at No. 1 singles.

The Lady Pirates will head to Altamonte Springs with an eye on capturing their sixth NCAA DII national championship. Only three schools have won NCAA DII national titles since 1995 - AASU, BYU-Hawaii and Lynn. The Lady Pirates enter the Round of 16 on a 44-match win streak and over the last three seasons, AASU has won 89 of its last 91 matches.