May 9, 2010

Courtesy of Neb. Kearney

Kearney, Neb. - The Nebraska-Kearney women's tennis team is headed to Florida for the NCAA Championships after a 5-1 win over Augustana Saturday afternoon at Harmon Park.

The Lopers (17-5), winners of 14 in a row and the second seed in the Central Region, will face 2nd-ranked Barry, Fla. next Wednesday in Altamonte Springs, Fla. The Buccaneers (21-3) are a Division II powerhouse and the top seed in the ultra tough South Region.

Time for the Loper/Barry match will be announced Monday. Augustana, who beat Upper Iowa in Friday's first round match, ends the year at 21-2.

The Vikings actually took a 1-0 lead when Emily Johnson and Gabrielle Kachera beat senior Claire Bryan (Katy, Texas) and sophomore Melissa Lyster (McCook) 8-5 at No. 3 doubles.

However, the Lopers won the next two doubles matches and then won four singles matches to take the dual. Sealing the deal was a win by sophomore Nickola Messbarger (Kearney Catholic), who also secured the RMAC Tournament title two weeks ago in a 5-3 win over Mesa State.

Down 4-1 in the first set, she went on to beat Johnson 7-5, 6-4 at No. 5 singles.