Women’s Tennis Sinks the Tars’ Season; Perez Earns 900th Career Victory
Miami Shores, Fla. – Lynn University’s women’s tennis team avenged the program’s only loss to Rollins by ending the Tars’ season with a 5-2 victory in the opening round of the NCAA Division II South Region Tournament. Ioana Ivan and Val Confalonieri claimed points in both doubles and singles while Aleks Vukadinovic took home the winning points that gave head men’s & women’s tennis coach Mike Perez his 900th career victory. Lynn improves to 16-5 oversll.
Beginning his career as head coach of both of the Fighting Knights programs in 1990, Perez earned his first career victory, 9-0, over Palm Beach Community College on January 18, 1990. Over his career, he has guided Lynn to seven national championships; six on the women’s side and one for the men in 2007. This season, he also won his 500th match for the women. Overall he is 391-151 with the men and 509-79 with the women.
Vukadinovic provided the decisive point in helping the Fighting Knights avenge their 5-2 loss to the Tars in the SSC Championship. She had little trouble in the opening set, wining 6-0, but had some difficulty closing out the match. Leading 5-2 and up 30-0, Emma Wookey was able to win the next two games to make it 5-4. Vukadinovic labored in the next game but used a forehand down the left line to pick up the victory.
The Blue & White’s top doubles tandem of Ivan and Confalonieri made quick work of their opponents Elissa DeCampli and Ashley Rosenberg, topping Rollins 8-0. Kim Prezeszlowski and Aleks Vukadinovic lost 8-6 at the no. 2 position. The duo trailed early, 3-1, but fought back to take a 6-5 lead. Unfortunately, the Tars took the next three games to secure their first point.
Much of the doubles excitement centered on the No. 3 court where Andrea Berkova and Alina Jane fell behind early and looked as though they would be an easy defeat. Down 6-3, Lynn’s tandem battled to win five of the next six games and send the match into a tie-breaker. Berkova and Jane went down 3-1 but won the next four points to go ahead 5-3. Rollins’ Carli Davis and Marina Salvador took advantage of a pair of unforced errors and two big plays to win the final doubles point.
Playing with a chip on her should following the close doubles loss, Berkova came right after her opponent at the No. 5 singles position, easily winning the first set 6-0 before putting away Ashley Loft 6-2.
No player had an easier match on the day than Ivan. The junior improved her overall record to 17-0 at the No. 2 position with a 6-1, 6-0 victory that took just under 30 minutes to play. After losing the opening game, Ivan overmatched her opponent by taking the next 12 consecutive games.
Confalonieri fell behind DeCampli at the No. 1 singles spot 2-1 but capitalized on some unforced errors to win 6-2. Upset by her first set performance, the Sunshine State Conference Freshman of the Year took it to DeCampli in the second set, winning easily 6-0.
Lynn faces its rival Barry in the South Region Championship with the winner moving on to the NCAA Division II Tournament quarterfinals. Play will begin at 9 a.m. Fans can catch the action live at LynnFightingKnights.com and receive in-match updates by following @LUKnights on Twitter and Instagram.