Barry wins first national title
Buccaneers rally in singles after trailing 2-1 following doubles
ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – A day after the start of the NCAA women’s tennis final was suspended due to inclement weather, No.2-ranked Barry overcame a 2-1 doubles deficit to defeat No.3 Lynn 5-3 and win the 2011 Division II Women’s Tennis Championship.
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It is the first NCAA national championship for the storied Bucs’ program as BU finished the season with a 25-1 record.
En route to its first national title, Barry opened its match with the Fighting Knights by dropping two of three doubles contests.
Facing an early deficit, Lynn’s No.11-ranked pair of Magdelena Ekert and Isabell Reich controlled their match with the 22nd-ranked tandem of Alex Gwizdowski and Laura Boguet from the onset, downing the duo 8-5 from the second flight.
In a battle of top-five opponents at No. 1 doubles, the Fighting Knights grouping of Eleonora Iannozzi and Ioana Ivan held a significant advantage against Barbi Pocza and Angie Werschel going into the weather delay. However, a revitalized Bucs’ group on Sunday morning made up four points and nipped the Fighting Knights’ pair in the end 8-6.
With Lynn and Barry splitting the first two doubles matches, Lynn got the upper hand when Jessica Yanoff and Andrea Berkova staved off Julie Stas and Olivia Matuszak 8-4 at the No. 3 spot.
Lynn, needing only three wins to register the national title, dealt with a refocused and reenergized Barry squad in singles.
The Buccaneers claimed early control of the singles portion, taking a 3-2 lead behind the efforts of the sixth and third spots. Monsour breezed past her opponent 6-0, 6-1, before No. 44 Wendling posted the identical scores in her match victory with Raich at the third flight.
The Fighting Knights, sensing the match slipping away, responded with a point at No. 2 when the No. 9-ranked Iannozzi dumped Werschel in straights sets 6-2 and 6-1.
Coming down to the final three matches, each confrontation was nip and tuck.
Matuszak sided the fourth point to Barry as she walked with a 6-4, 6-0 win against No. 27 Ivan at No.4 singles. Both No. 1 and No. 5 singles featured a pair of three-set thrillers, but it was the Buccaneers third-ranked Pocza who, after splitting the first two sets, took the final tally 6-0, 3-6, 6-3. The victory clinched the match and the national title for Barry.
It is the fifth national title in the sport of women’s tennis for the Sunshine State Conference.
The national runner-up, Lynn finished the season with a 27-2 record.