ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – No. 12 Clayton State overcame a 3-2 singles deficit to down the No. 11 California University (Pa.)  and secure a spot in the semifinals of the NCAA Division II Tennis Championships, by defeating California 5-3, Thursday afternoon from Sanlando Park.

The win advances the Lakers into the semifinals where they will challenge the winner of Lynn/Abilene Christian. The match is set for Friday from Sanlando Park with opening serve coming at 1:00 p.m.

Despite Clayton State collecting two-of-three doubles contests, the Lakers had to rally from a 3-2 singles deficit to post the come-from-behind win. 

The doubles session saw Clayton State break out to a 2-0 lead as Katie White and Marie Cercelletti eased their way to an 8-2 win over Anastassiya Zherdeva and Axelle Fernandez at No. 2. Shortly after, the 12th-ranked tandem of Victoriya Semyrodenko and Ivana Krommelova over matched the duo of No. 20 Anna Pieschel and Jade Pondicas, 8-2, at top flight doubles. However, the talented Vulcans’ pair of Franziska Steinhardt and Laurie Navarro posted a convincing 8-3 win at No. 3 to keep the Vulcans in the match.

The 2-1 deficit quickly dissipated when Navarro dropped Fabricius in straight sets 6-1, 6-0. The Vulcans then grabbed the advantage over the Lakers when Fernandez recorded a 6-2, 6-2 win over Dedaj. However, Clayton State regained the winning touch over the next three matches. Cercelletti won a hard fought session over Zherdeva 7-5, 6-3 to tie the match at No. 4 singles. The Lakers’ No. 17 Semyrodenko followed by nipping Pieschl 7-5, 6-2 at top flight.

Needing just one point to secure the match, the No. 3 singles spot of Krommelova provided the dramatics for the Lakers as she followed a hard-fought 6-4 opening set win with a 6-2 dusting in set two.

The loss eliminates California (PA) from NCAA Tournament competition.