Barry wins South 1 region
Defending champions head back to Round of 16 in Louisville
MIAMI SHORES, Fla. -- Barry swept Saint Leo 5-0 Wednesday to win the South 1 Region.
The win sends the No. 2 Buccaneers (24-0) onto Louisville to defend its NCAA Division II national championship. No. 15 Saint Leo finishes its season at 18-8.
Barry will play District of Columbia at 11 a.m. May 16 in the Round of 16 at Louisville's EP Tom Sawyer Park.
"I think we have a really good chance again this year," sophomore Olivia Matuszak said after sealing the region title with a 6-1, 6-2 No. 4 singles win against Jeanette McDonald.
The Bucs got pushed in two of the three doubles matches after Matuszak and Julie Stas rolled to an 8-1 win over McDonald and Adrianna Daszkiewicz at the No. 2 pairs spot.
Caroline Wendling and Linda Fritschken battled back and forth with Saint Leo's Maria Benkirane and Selma Hidass, finding themselves in ties at 6-6 and 7-7. But the Bucs No. 3 duo won the next two games to seal the match, 9-7. That gave Barry a 2-0 lead.
Mona Mansour and Cristina Valladares trailed 4-1 to No. 8 Laura Kemkes and Emily Singleton at No. 1 doubles. But the Bucs broke Kemke's serve and clawed their way back into the match. Mansour served Barry to two critical game wins to help pull the Buccaneers even at 8-8 after a couple long deuce battles in which the tide turned several times for each team.
But Mansour's serve and Valladares' putaways at the net helped the Bucs clinch the third doubles point.
Sarah Krohnen, inserted into the No. 6 singles spot to give Mansour a rest, ripped off a 6-0, 6-3 win against Phoebe Di Leo to push Barry's lead to 4-0.
"I was very happy I got the chance to play today and help the team win," Krohnen said.
Matuszak closed it out, letting out a loud yell as the Bucs wrapped up their third consecutive region title.
This marks the 17th time the women's tennis program has advanced to the site of the national championships in its 22-year history.