Abilene Christian uses doubles momentum to top West Florida
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- A sixth consecutive doubles sweep followed by two swift singles victories propelled Abilene Christian past West Florida and into the NCAA championship semifinals on Thursday at the Surprise Racquet & Tennis Complex.
The Wildcats' 5-1 victory was their second this year against the Argonauts and pushed their winning streak to 16 in improving to 29-5.
West Florida's spring came to an end at 22-7. The Argonauts lost 5-4 to ACU last month on their home court in Pensacola, Fla.
ACU's semifinal opponent will be BYU-Hawaii, which eliminated the Wildcats from last year's postseason by a 5-0 margin.
Fourth-ranked Hawaii Pacific will be matched against the defending national champion Armstrong Atlantic in the other semifinal.
The Wildcats began their match versus West Florida with two rollover victories at No. 1 and 2 doubles. Fifth-ranked Julia Mongin and Brittney Reed defeated Monika Kochanova and Giovana Patitucci 8-2, while at No. 2 15th-ranked Micah Hermsdorf and Hannah Kelley topped sisters Luiza and Mariana Sonnervig 8-3.
Securing the win at No. 3 doubles proved to be a little more difficult, but Kaysie Hermsdorf and Laura Mongin evenutally got the job done, beating Fernanda Amaral and Nina Bubelova 9-7 to remain undefeated this season at 12-0.
Julia Mongin and Reed have won nine in a row in raising their season mark to 14-2, while Micah Hermsdorf and Kelley extended their season-best winning streak to 14 and are now 19-3 this spring.
Overall, ACU's 17 doubles combinations are a combined 84-11 (.884) and have not suffered a doubles loss since their April 13 match versus the Argos. The last time the Wildcats lost more than one doubles contest at any dual was on March 14 versus Armstrong Atlantic in Las Vegas.
Thursday's sweep was ACU's sixth in a row and 21st of the season.
The Wildcats' 3-0 cushion heading into singles proved to be beneficial as they were challenged at all three top positions and lost at No. 6, where Kaysie Hermsdorf had her four-match winning streak snapped by Amaral 6-3, 6-0. Hermsdorf's loss was ACU's first of the postseason.
Fortunately for ACU, senior Hannah Kelley quickly finished her match at No. 5 against Patitucci 6-1, 6-0, to give the Wildcats a 4-0 lead and, right as Kaysie Hermsdorf lost her match, Laura Mongin was coming off the court with the dual-clinching point.
Laura Mongin beat Mariana Sonnervig 6-2, 6-0 at No. 4 for her ninth consecutive win and 20th of the season.
ACU trailed two of three matches that were left unfinished. At. No. 1 singles, 15th-ranked Julia Mongin trailed No. 25 Kochanova 4-3 in the second set after losing the first 6-0.
Micah Hermsdorf defeated Kochanova in three sets in Pensacola last month, but lost her first set to Luiza Sonnervig 7-5 and trailed 5-0 in the second when the match was stopped.
Reed led Bubelova at No. 3 singles 6-0, 5-4.