LAKELAND, Fla. — Second-ranked Barry won its third consecutive Florida Blue Sunshine State Conference championship, beating No. 4 Lynn 5-2 on Sunday at Beerman Tennis Center.
“Each year is as exactly as special as the year before,” Barry’s Mona Mansour said after beating Ana Kriz, 6-3, 6-1, at No. 5 singles to clinch the team title. “Being apart of it with these girls, which are my closest friends here makes it even better.”
Barry (22-0) won an exciting, nerve-filled No. 3 doubles match when Caroline Wendling and Linda Fritschken came from behind 5-2 to tie the match at 6-6 before eventually pulling out a 9-8 (7-1) victory. That gave the Bucs a 2-1 match lead.
“It’s crazy. I think I was about to have a heart attack, and it’s just conference,” Julie Stas said of watching her teammates win a thriller.
Stas and Olivia Matuszak beat Kriz and Roxane Alexandru, 8-1, at No. 2 doubles. Stas also beat Kim Przeszlowski, 6-1, 6-2, at No. 3 singles.
Wendling won her 70th career match, beating Alexandru, 6-0, 6-3, at No. 6 singles. Lynn’s No.3-ranked Ioana Ivan beat No. 14 Cristina Valladares, 6-0, 6-3, at No. 1 singles. Ivan and Sabine Kraus, ranked No. 3 in the nation, beat Mansour and Valladares, 8-2, at No. 1 doubles.
“Is it the best team? It’s hard to tell,” said Barry coach Avi Kigel, who coached last year’s national championship team. “Now our next goal is regional. We’re always looking one step ahead. I’m happy that we’re undefeated. But I’m just as happy that we were able to finish this tournament. We had a lot of doubts. Just happy that these girls came through in the last moment and performed their best. They showed great resilience.”