BOCA RATON, Fla. -- No.1 Barry won the first Sunshine State Conference regula- season title on Saturday when the Buccaneers beat No. 5 Lynn 7-2 at Perper Tennis Complex.
Barry improved to 20-1 overall, 8-0 in the SSC, while Lynn fell to 20-2, 7-1. The Buccaneers will rest until the SSC championships April 24-26 in Winter Park, Fla.
“We feel great, I think the whole team,” Bucs sophomore Kimmy Twelker said after contributing two wins, "so we're happy."
Twelker and Ana Pain beat No. 1-ranked Val Confalonieri and Ioana Ivan 8-6 at No. 1 doubles to help the Buccaneers sweep pairs play. Twelker and Pain got out to a 4-1 start, and then increased their lead to 7-4. But the Fighting Knights’ top-ranked duo fought their way back to within 7-6 before the Bucs pair closed out the match.
“I didn’t even know they were No. 1 ranked,” Twelker said. “I’m comfortable playing with Ana, so I think it’s a good win for us. I feel it was the best match we've played.”
It was Twelker and Pain’s team-leading 13th win together.
“I think we have a good connection,” Pain said, “so it makes stuff easy.”
Pain secured the Bucs’ clinching fifth team point when she beat Lynn’s Alina Jane 6-1, 6-2 at No. 4 singles.
“I started well, and I pretty much handled the whole game well, so I’m pretty happy with that win, too,” Pain said.
Twelker was the first to finish in singles, beating Kim Przeszlowski 6-2, 6-0 at No. 6. It was Twelker’s 10th win of the season. Barry’s Elisabeth Abanda picked up a win at No. 5 singles when Lynn’s No. 36-ranked Andrea Berkova retired with Abanda leading 6-5 in the first set. Barry's No. 10-ranked Karina Goia improved to 15-0 with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over No. 46 Rosalie Willig at No. 2.
Confalonieri, the No. 1-ranked singles player in the country, defeated seventh-ranked Emma Onila 6-1, 6-3 at the top singles spot. Ivan, ranked 12th in the country, beat the 43rd-ranked Linda Fritschken 6-3, 6-3 at No. 3.
Fritschken and Onila, ranked sixth in the nation in doubles, carved out an 8-6 win against Berkova and Willig at No. 2. Abanda and Goia beat Jane and Przeszlowski 8-4 at No. 3.
“I think we just have to keep working hard and doing the things we’re doing and we’ll be fine,” Twelker said.
After the win, the Buccaneers celebrated with a lunch at Cheesecake Factory minus the dessert.
“Very good,” Pain said, a wide-eyed smile forming. “I had the best burger ever.”