May 14, 2010

Courtesy of Rollins Athletics

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. - The No.3-ranked BYU-Hawaii women's tennis team overcame a 2-1 doubles deficit to upend No. 4-ranked Lynn University 5-4, Friday afternoon in semifinal action of the 2010 Women's Tennis National Championships, from the Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Fla.

The win secures the Seasiders a spot in the NCAA finals, while Lynn University is eliminated from the tournament.

It was Lynn University who jumped out on top of the higher-seeded Seasiders as they posted two wins in doubles. The Fighting Knights' duo of Tessie Salame and Jessica Yanoff broke the scoreboard first when team posted a convincing 8-2 win over Chin and Aranda. Yuan Jia and Elwen Li got the Seasiders back into the contest with a compelling 8-3 win over Ekert and Jiskrova in the No. 1 slot to tie the match at one apiece. Lynn regained the lead a short time later when the No. 3 doubles tandem of Eleonora Iannozzi and Christine Johnstone took down the BYU pair of Holmes and Porter, 8-4.

The back-and-forth doubles series set up one of the most compelling singles segments of the week. Lynn saw their 2-1 match lead quickly rise to 4-1 when Yanoff and Iannozzi post two, straight set victories. Yanoff was successful in her match winning, 6-0, 6-1 at the No. 4 spot, while Iannozzi took her first set, 6-2, before Ikeda retired at No. 3 singles.

Still in singles play, the Seasiders began their triumphant comeback when Li prevailed in a straight sets win over Ekert, 6-3, 6-3. Sophia Simmons drew BYU-Hawaii one point closer with a 6-2, 7-5 win over a stiff challenger in Johnstone. The hotly contested match grew ever more exciting when Jia tied the contest at four points apiece with a hard-fought 7-5, 7-5 win over Jiskrova at No. 1 singles. The fifth and final match at singles proved to the most stirring as the Seasiders' Chin battled through severe dehydration to win in three sets over Salame , 6-4, 0-6, 6-3. After an impressive performance in the first set, Chin fell victim to a rejuvenated Salame, as she was shutout 6-0. However, Chin found the energy to post an excruciating 6-3 third set win, to mark their spot in the finals.

The win pushes the Seasiders into the NCAA Championship Final where they will take on No.1-ranked Armstrong Atlantic on Saturday, May 15. First serve for the national title contest is set for 9:00 a.m. at the Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Fla.