Winthrop downs Charleston Southern to earn sixth consecutive Big South title
ROCK HILL, S.C. -- The Lady Eagles won the 2013 Big South conference championship with a 4-0 victory against No. 2-seed Charleston Southern. This is Winthrop's sixth consecutive Big South title, having won 11 of the past 12 conference championships. Big South Coach of the Year Cid Carvalho has now won 16 conference titles. The Lady Eagles won the regular-season title and was the top overall seed in the tournament.
Sophomore Ekin Gunaysu and Freshman Caitlin Cridland took down Marketa Placha and Susita Das 8-1 at No. 3 doubles. Freshman Alice Garcia and Giovanna Portiolli could not close the door on the doubles point, falling to Yvonne Hubler and Alexandra Walters 8-4.
The doubles point was decided at No. 1 doubles in a hard-fought match that went into a tiebreaker. Senior Yasmine Alkema and Junior Andressa Garcia went back and forth with Charleston Southern's Angelica Sidorenko and Alia Nour. Sidorenko and Nour came back from a 7-4 Winthrop advantage to win four consecutive games to take an 8-7 lead in the match. Alkema and Garcia fought back to force the match into a tiebreaker. Alkema and Garcia were down 4-1 in the tiebreaker with Sidorenko and Nour. Alkema and Garcia prevailed and came back to win the tiebreaker 7-5, giving Winthrop the doubles point.
Yasmine Alkema kept the doubles momentum rolling by defeating Marketa Placha 6-3, 6-1, at No. 1 singles. Shortly after, Alice Garcia defeated Angelica Sidorenko 6-2, 6-3, at No. 3 singles. Almost simultaneously as Alice Garcia won, Tijana Uzelac clinched the match at No. 6 singles with a 6-0, 6-3 win against Susita Das.
Andressa Garcia was leading Yvonne Hubler 6-1, 5-4 at No. 2 singles. In the No. 4 position, Giovanna Portiolli was leading 5-4 against Alexandra Walters. Caitlin Cridland was tied at six with Alia Nour at No. 5 singles.
"First I would like to congratulate CSU for a great season. The doubles point was very exciting with both teams having match points," Coach Carvalho said. "Our players played outstandingly, I'm so proud of them. We are going to enjoy this win for a couple of days and then start preparing for the NCAAs. Go Eagles!"
The Lady Eagles get an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament with the win.