Tennis-W vs. Saint Leo
No. 4 Women’s Tennis Loses in NCAA South Region Finals
Modified May 06, 2014 05:09 PM
Saint Leo, Fla.- All good things must come to an end as did Lynn University’s fourth-ranked women’s tennis teams season on Tuesday afternoon in a 5-3 loss to No. 6 Saint Leo in the NCAA South Region 2 Finals. Valentine Confalonieri finished the season with a perfect 26-0 record as the top-singles player in Division II while teaming with senior Ioana Ivan to win one last time as the No. 4 doubles team in the nation to finish the season 23-1.
The fourth-ranked duo gave Lynn a jump start with a 8-3 win over Pauline Helgesson and Paula Montoya to lead 1-0. Alina Jane and Kim Przeszlowski lost, 8-2, to Maria Benkirane and Adrianna Daszkiewicz at No. 3 doubles to even the match 1-all. Laura Kemkes and Anastasia Wagner defeated Rosalie Willig and Andrea Berkova, 8-4, to put the Lions ahead 2-1 heading into singles play.
Top-ranked Confalonieri cruised to a 6-0, 6-1, victory over Coralie Pesenti at No.1 singles to tie the match 2-2 but Berkova would fall, 6-1, 6-3, to Benkirane at No. 4 singles to give the Lions an edge once again. 11th-ranked Ivan would lose her first match of the season, 6-4, 6-4, in the second spot to Kemkes for SLU to be one point away from clinching its second-straight NCAA Championships round of 16 appearance.
Jane won her first set and No. 5 singles but lost the second to Motoya to force a third set. A dominating 6-1 performance by Jane would give the Fighting Knights their third point. Przeszlowski lost a close 7-6 battle to Daszkiewicz at the sixth spot in the first set. Despite battling hard, the junior lost 6-2 ending the match with a 5-3 final in favor of the host team.
Saint Leo improves to 20-5 overall and will advance to the NCAA Championships in Altamonte Springs, Fla., May 14-17. Lynn finishes the season 22-4 overall and will miss the NCAA Championships round of 16 for just the second time in program history.
Ivan, Berkova and Aleks Vukadinovic will graduate this year leaving some big shoes to fill in Lynn’s lineup for the 2015 season. Ivan leaves behind a laundry list of accolades including eight All-Sunshine State Conference selections while also being named the 2012 SSC Player of the Year.
She’s been named a NCAA All-American five times to date with 82 career victories to rank third all-time at Lynn with an 82-7 career singles record. Berkova, a staple in Lynn’s doubles lineup graduates with a 70-22 career doubles record while going 57-16 in singles. Vukadinovic will graduate 31-16 in singles and 17-21 in doubles after posting a career-best seven doubles wins this season.
Lynn returns top-ranked Confalonieri along with Willig, Jane and Przeszlowski for 2015. To learn more about the women’s tennis team at Lynn University, log on to LynnFightingKnights.com. Don’t forget to ‘Like’ us on Facebook and follow @LUKnights on Twitter and Instagram.