MIDLAND, Mich. -- The third time proved to be a charm for Wayne State (Mich.). WSU earned its first NCAA regional title in school history Tuesday, defeating longtime tennis power Northwood University in the NCAA regional finals 5-3. Wayne State earned the win against Northwood in its third attempt against the Timberwolves (22-1) this season. It was also Wayne State's third attempt in the past six years to reach the NCAA Round of 16.
With the win, the Warriors have earned two victories in the 2014 NCAA tournament under head coach Sheila Snyder and advance to the NCAA Division II Round of 16. The Warriors (25-4) earned their first victory against Northwood since 1995 with the win.
Wayne State, the No. 3 seed, got off to a strong start against second-seeded Northwood, which was playing on its home courts. WSU won two of the three matches in doubles to take a 2-1 lead against the Timberwolves.
The Warriors won their matches at the No. 2 and No. 3 flights in doubles. Freshman Andreea Mitrache and sophomore Alex Poissant won 8-5 at No. 2 doubles, while sophomore Julia Kamenko and senior Jessica Kruczek tallied an 8-6 victory at No. 3 doubles for the Warriors.
In singles, Wayne State won the first set in four of the six flights to fight off any shift in momentum.
Northwood did get a point back as Darina Berkova topped WSU junior Yahsha Moore at No. 1 singles. With the score knotted 2-2, WSU junior Anne Li Briand gave the Warriors the lead once again by winning in consecutive sets at No. 4 singles. Briand didn't drop a game in the first set and dropped just four overall on her way to a 6-0, 6-4 win against Northwood's Inesa Asatryan to give Wayne State a 3-2 advantage.
After Northwood tied the match 3-3 by winning at No. 6 singles, Wayne State closed out the match with consecutive victories by Poissant at No. 3 singles and Mitrache at No. 2 singles.
Poissant won her second singles match in as many days, winning 6-1, 6-4 against Northwood's Anastasiia Kazub. Mitrache won 7-5 in the first set and won the final three games in the second set to clinch the match for the Warriors. Mitrache won 7-5, 6-2 at the No. 2 flight against NU's Anastasia Puchkina.