ORLANDO, Fla. – It came down to the very final singles match, but the Stetson University women’s tennis team notched its first win against UCF in program history Thursday, with a thrilling 4-3 victory at the UCF Tennis Complex.
The clincher for the Hatters came on court No. 5, when Eveline Lepinay was taken to three sets by the Knights’ Sofia Baptista, but Lepinay came out on top, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Before the sixth and final singles match, the score stood at 3-3, with UCF claiming victories on courts No. 3, 4 and 6, while the Hatters were victorious on Courts No. 1 and 2.
Stetson took the doubles point (2-1) and got out to an early 1-0 match lead with victories from Diana Bukajeva and MayaBlue Stauffer-MacDowell (8-3) on court No. 1. The pairing of Andrea Crespo and Isabella Fernandez clinched the point with an 8-5 decision on court No. 2
The win gave the Hatters their first over the Knights since both teams began play in the 1993 season and brought their winning streak to six. Stetson finishes the regular season with a 16-5 overall record and a 5-3 A-Sun mark.
"This team has cleared many hurdles this year and beating UCF on its home courts is another one from the past that they have cleared," said Director of Stetson Tennis Pierre Pilote. "It is difficult to imagine a better way to end our regular season."
"Coach (Stephanie) Nickitas and her staff lead such a strong program," Pilote added. "They prepare their team very well for each match and today was no different."
Stetson next plays in the A-Sun Championship, scheduled for Apr. 17-19 in Jacksonville, with North Florida as the host.