JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – The fourth seeded Stetson women’s tennis team (11-10) was eliminated from the Atlantic Sun Conference Championships in the Semifinals, as top seeded ETSU (14-5) won the first four points to advance to the title match on Saturday.
"Our ladies played a great match today," Director of Tennis Pierre Pilote said. "It was reminiscent of last year's semifinal vs. then #1 seed UNF. The team surely gave them everything that we had, and I am proud of each member of this squad. Three third set matches and one that was just about to go to the deciding set tells the story of how close the match was."
Stetson’s highlight of the day came early, as senior Jen Miller and junior Diana Bukajeva defeated the nationally ranked pair of Lyn Yee Choo and Anna Gerbasi by a score of 8-3 at the number one doubles position.
"What a great win for Diana and Jen against the 63rd best team in the nation, and they achieved it with relative ease," Pilote said. "I am sad that I will not be coaching both Sara [Lazarevic] and Jen next year. They both had an outstanding senior season and overall career."
Unfortunately for the Hatters, ETSU won 8-5 at both number two and number three doubles to clinch the first point of the match.
Choo got the Bucs off to a good start in singles play, defeating senior Sara Lazarevic 6-3, 6-3 at the number two position to make it 2-0 in favor of ETSU. After junior Lindsey Cable fell to Anna Gerbasi 6-4, 6-1, the Buccaneers needed just one point to secure the victory.
Freshman Andrea Crespo came back from a first set defeat to win set two 6-2 and tie up her match with ETSU’s number one, Antonia Kolovou. Crespo eventually dropped the third set 7-5, which gave the Bucs the 4-0 victory, and eliminated the Hatters from the tournament.
Bukajeva, Miller, and freshman Eveline Lepinay were all in the middle of their matches before the contest was called in favor of the Bucs. Miller and Lepinay split their first two sets, while Bukajeva was still in her second set of play.
Stetson falls to 11-10 on the season with the loss. ETSU advances to take on the winner of North Florida and USC Upstate in the A-Sun Championship on Sunday.