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Armstrong Atlantic Athletics | May 16, 2014

Armstrong Atl. returns to national final

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. -- Two-time defending NCAA Division II national champion Armstrong Atlantic is back in the finals after a 5-0 victory against Saint Leo in the 2014 NCAA Division II Women's Tennis Championship semifinals on Friday morning at Sanlando Park.

The Pirates (28-1) will be making their 15th NCAA Division II national championship match appearance after knocking off the Lions (22-6), who made their first appearance in a national semifinal in any sport this week at Sanlando Park. Armstrong will face Barry, who defeated Hawaii Pacific 5-1 in the other semifinal, at 9 a.m. ET Saturday. It will be the first time that the Bucs and the Pirates will meet for the national title.

Armstrong won all three doubles matches from the Lions to take a 3-0 lead heading into singles play of the semifinal match. The duo of Aleksandra Filipovski and Barbora Krtickova won a quick 8-1 decision versus Pauline Helgesson and Paula Montoya at No. 1 doubles. Clara Perez and Carolina Prats-Millan defeated Maria Benkirane and Adrianna Daskiewicz 8-3 at No. 3 doubles. The duo of Marlen Hacke and Olga Kalodzitsa jumped out to a 7-2 lead versus Laura Kemkes and Anastasia Wagner, saw the Saint Leo duo close the gap to 7-5 before Kalodzitsa held serve to close out the match 8-5, and earn the 3-0 advantage for the Pirates.

In singles, Armstrong took the first set in all six singles matches.Filipovski notched a quick 6-2, 6-1 win against Coralie Pesenti at No. 1 singles. Prats-Millan -- the last of the six singles players to finish her first set -- stormed through a second set to clinch the match 6-3, 6-0 against Benkirane at No. 4 singles to send the Pirates to the championship match.

Barry was the only team to defeat the Pirates during the regular season, winning a 5-4 decision in Bradenton, Florida, on Feb. 23. The Bucs' only national championship came at Sanlando Park the last time the championships were at the facility, in 2011. It is also the only national championship for any team other than Armstrong in the past six seasons. Armstrong is attempting to add to its NCAA Division II-leading national championship total of eight.