LSUA’s historic season comes to an end in NAIA Tournament semifinals
MOBILE, Ala. (LSUA) - The historic season for the LSUA women’s tennis team comes to a close, as it fell to No. 2 Keiser in the NAIA Tournament semifinals on Friday, May 20 at the Mobile Tennis Center.
LSUA (19-1) dropped its first match of the season to the same team that ended its season in the quarterfinals last season.
Olivia Scattini earned the lone point of the match for the Generals, winning in straight sets at the No. 4 singles position against Isabela Perez-Flores. She fell behind early 1-0 in the first set but was followed by rattling off six straight to earn a 6-1 victory in the opening set.
She was the lone General to win her opening set. Once again, she dropped the opening game in the second set before recording five consecutive game victories to coast to a 6-2 second set triumph.
Not only did she dominate in singles, but she did in doubles as well with partner Annemart Kleijn at the No. 1 doubles slot. Against the KU tandem of Perez-Flores and Florencia Araya, the LSUA duo jumped out to a 4-1 lead before KU cut the deficit to 4-3. From there on, the teams traded games and LSUA came away with a 6-4 victory.
After the teams split the first two doubles matches, it came down to whichever team won a tight match at No. 2. Keiser’s tandem of Kanon Sorakubo and Vanja Vidanovic came back from a 4-0 deficit in the match to score the next five games and came away with a tight 7-5 win to earn the point for the Seahawks the doubles point.
“The girls fought hard and took the No. 1 doubles court, but lost at Nos. 2 and 3, losing the doubles point,” LSUA Women’s Tennis Coach Melinda Descant said. “We hadn’t lost the doubles point all year so that took a lot of air out of us, but as soon as the girls got on the court for singles they started fighting back.
“They fought a great fight, but it was Keiser’s (18-4) day today. They played well.”
Scattini’s victory at No. 4 singles briefly tied the match at 1, but KU grabbed the final three to emerge with the win.
Araya’s victory at No. 6 put the Seahawks back on top with a 6-2, 6-3 victory. It was Patricia Martinez Molina’s first loss of the season at singles, capping a remarkable season for the junior team captain, despite the defeat.
Joyce Nouws tacked on a point for KU with a 6-2, 6-1, triumph at the No. 5 singles position, to make the score 3-1. It capped a terrific day for her after she helped win at No. 3 doubles, 6-3, and put the Seahawks in position to earn the victory.
Vidanovic won 6-1, 6-3, at No. 3 to clinch the match, setting off a celebration on the court for the Seahawks, which will play Georgia Gwinnett at 8 a.m. on Saturday in the national title match for the fourth consecutive season.
The Generals finish the season with 19 wins, tied for the most in program history, playing three fewer matches than in 2017. They recorded seven wins over the top 25 competition as well as two more against Division I opponents. LSUA also has no seniors on the team.
“I’m so proud of these girls’ accomplishments this year,” Descant said. “I’m proud to be their coach.”
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