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SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Stetson women’s tennis team opened up Atlantic Sun Conference play with a 5-2 road win over USC Upstate on Friday. The victory marked the 10th in a row for the Hatters, setting a new program record for consecutive wins.

“It is great to have that first conference win under our belt,” Stetson Director of Tennis Pierre Pilote said. “I think we all felt that we could have played better, but it was still a good team performance.

“I told our team that anytime you place yourself in the Stetson Women's Tennis record book, it's a significant achievement,” continued Pilote. “To be first in any category is fantastic and they should be proud.”

Stetson, which hasn’t lost since the season opener at no. 24 Florida State, began things on Friday the same way each of the 10 wins during the streak started. The Hatters won the doubles point.

Senior Diana Bukajeva, the reigning A-Sun Player of the Week, joined with freshman Isabella Fernandez to win 8-1 at number one doubles. Senior Lindsey Cable and sophomore Eveline Lepinay then won 8-2 at number three to secure the first point of the match for the Hatters.

USC Upstate won 6-1, 6-2 at number one singles to tie the match up, but Stetson freshman Carolina Meregalli won 6-0, 6-1 at the number six position to give the lead back to the Hatters at 2-1.

Sophomore Cari Berry and senior MayaBlue Stauffer-MacDowell won at number five and number four to clinch the match for Stetson. Berry won 6-0, 6-3, while Stauffer-MacDowell was victorious 6-4, 6-3.

Stetson added a 6-2, 6-2 win by Fernandez at number two, before the Spartans won 6-0, 0-6, 6-4 at number two to make the final score 5-2 in favor of the Hatters.

“We will enjoy this win for just a few hours and then place our full attention on tomorrow’s match at ETSU,” Pilote said.

Stetson will challenge last year’s A-Sun Runner-up Buccaneers Saturday at 10:00 a.m. from Johnson City.


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