Friday, May 13, 2011

Barry Ends Lady Pirates' Hopes For Fourth Straight National Championship

The fourth-ranked Armstrong Atlantic State University women's tennis team saw its hopes for a fourth straight NCAA Division II National Championship come to a close on Friday afternoon as Barry won three singles matches to capture a 5-3 victory over the Lady Pirates and advance to the NCAA DII National Championship match, where they will face Sunshine State Conference rival Lynn.

Aleksandra Filipovski drew the Lady Pirates even with the Bucs with a quick 6-0, 6-1 win over Caroline Wendling, but Barry went back ahead on a 6-3, 6-3 win by Laura Boguet over Kathleen Henry. Olivia Matuszak beat Tina Ronel, 6-4, 6-1, to put Barry one match away from clinching.

Barbora Krtickova kept the Lady Pirates alive with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Angie Werschel at No. 2 singles, but Barbi Pocza's key first-set tiebreak win propelled her to a 7-6 (5), 6-2 win over Alida Muller-Wehlau at No. 1 singles.

They say all good things must come to an end, and in our hearts we knew that the Lady Pirates' streak of consecutive national championships could not continue indefinitely, but the outstanding run that Armstrong has put up over the last four seasons can not be understated - really in the last 25 years, no team in Division II women's tennis has attained such a fantastic stretch.

The Armstrong tennis blog would also like to remind you that even though the DII Tennis Championships are over, there is still a Pirate team in the running for the hardware - Armstrong softball picked up a 3-2 win in eight innings over Carson-Newman today in the first game of the 2011 NCAA Southeast Regional in Hickory, N.C., and advances to Saturday's winner's bracket. Check out the Pirates' run here via the NCAA Regional site, and Go Pirates !

Armstrong Trails Barry, 2-1, After Doubles

For the first time in the 2011 NCAA Tennis Championships, the three-time defending national champion Lady Pirates find themselves trailing as Barry holds a 2-1 lead after doubles.

The No. 3-ranked duo of Alida Muller-Wehlau and Barbora Krtickova claimed an 8-4 win over Barbi Pocza and Angie Werschel at No. 1 singles, but Barry's Alex Gwizdowski and Laura Boguet erased an early deficit to defeat Kathleen Henry and Tina Ronel, 8-6, at No. 2 doubles. Julie Stas and Olivia Matusak then picked up an 8-4 win over Aleksandra Filipovski and Jessica Gardefjord at No. 3 doubles.

Barry also held a 2-1 lead after doubles in the regular season meeting on April 8, and the Bucs won a pair of three-setters en route to four singles wins that afternoon and the 6-3 win, halting Armstrong's 69-match win streak. But do not count the three-time defending champions out - singles to come with all to play for with the Lady Pirates !

Welcome back! (sortof)

In the grand scheme of things, you didn't miss any action during the great Blog-Out of 2011, but the Armstrong tennis blog is back for Friday the 13th. Your Lady Pirates are getting set to take on Barry University in one national semifinal match, while Lynn battles fellow Peach Belt foe Clayton State in the other semifinal match. The matches won't be starting at one as both the Valdosta State/Columbus State and Barry/Concordia matches are still going on, though both are going to wrap up fairly soon.

We hope that will reinstate the posts from the Lady Pirates' wins over Hawai'i Pacific yesterday and Indiana (Pa.) on Wednesday, but for now, welcome back and get ready to cheer on the Pirates as they take on the Bucs this afternoon in their quest for a fourth consecutive national championship !

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Lady Pirates Finish Off Warriors, 5-0

The three-time defending DII national champion Armstrong Atlantic State University Lady Pirates are onto the semifinals! With two singles wins, the No. 4-ranked Lady Pirates blanked the No. 5-ranked Warriors of Hawai'i Pacific on Thursday afternoon.

In No. 3 singles, Armstrong's Aleksandra Filipovski was leading the Warriors' Celina Goetti, 2-1, in the first set, but the elements forced Goetti to retire during the changeover, giving the Lady Pirates a quick fourth point.

Tina Ronel then finished off a straight-set 6-1, 6-1 win over Aleksandra Stankovic at No. 4 singles to clinch the match for the Lady Pirates.

No. 2-ranked Barry awaits the Lady Pirates in the semifinals on Friday at 1:00 p.m. - Barry knocked off Concordia (N.Y.), 5-0, on Thursday afternoon as well.

Barry is one of two teams to have defeated the Lady Pirates this season - they took a 6-3 win over Armstrong back on April 8 in Miami Shores, Fla. - ending the Lady Pirates' school-record consecutive match win streak at 69. It will be a battle, much like the men's match yesterday against the Bucs. Go Pirates !

Lady Pirates Open Up 3-0 Lead Over Hawai'i Pacific

What a difference a couple of months make. When Armstrong faced Hawai'i Pacific in March, the Warriors led early in all three doubles matches, eventually taking two of three to push the Pirates to a 5-4 close decision in Las Vegas.

This afternoon, it was the Lady Pirates making the noise early, breaking all three HPU doubles teams' service games right off the bat and riding that momentum to a 3-0 lead in doubles. Aleksandra Filipovski and Jessica Gardefjord were first off the court with an 8-2 win over Florie Paquay and Carrie Shuler at No. 3 doubles, then the No. 3-ranked duo of Alida Muller-Wehlau and Barbora Krtickova claimed an 8-3 win over Zora Vickova and Celina Goetti at No. 1 doubles. Tina Ronel and Kathleen Henry finished things off with an 8-5 win over Ielyzaveta Rybakova and Aleksandra Stankovic at No. 3 doubles.

Barry also owns a 3-0 lead in its match over Concordia (N.Y.), being played on adjacent courts. Two singles wins for the Lady Pirates and a possible date with Barry looms in the semifinals !

Lady Pirates Take The Court On Thursday

Welcome to Day 2 of the 2011 NCAA Division II Tennis Championships. The three-time defending DII national champion Lady Pirates will hope to avoid the fate that befell their male counterparts yesterday - falling to the No. 5-ranked team in the nation. Armstrong's opponents this afternoon is Hawai'i Pacific.

The Lady Pirates and the Warriors played a tight 5-4 match in Las Vegas back on March 15, so doubles will be key for Armstrong if they want to hold off Hawai'i Pacific this afternoon.

By the way, the Armstrong men's tennis team was not the only top-ranked and No. 1 ranked team to fall. BYU-Hawai'i lost to Lynn late last night (match ended around midnight), 5-1, meaning that the two top-ranked teams coming into the DII Tennis Championships each suffered first-round exits.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Armstrong Leads Barry, 2-1, After Doubles

As you would expect between two teams that have captured the last three NCAA Division II Men's Tennis National Championships, the doubles matches between Armstrong and Barry were quite heated. The top-ranked duo of Rafael Array and Mikk Irdoja notched a quick 8-2 win over Max Wimmer and Emanuel Fraitzl at No. 1 doubles, but both of the other two doubles matches went down to the wire - and both teams that held a 6-5 lead ended up losing.

At No. 2 doubles, the duo of Marco Mokrzycki and Quentin Vachez of Barry won the last three games to win, 8-6, over Matus Mydla and Pedro Scocuglia for Barry. But the Armstrong duo of Eudaldo Bonet and Daniel Regan won the last three games at No. 3 doubles for an 8-6 win over Ollie Lemaitre and Sergio Velez.

Singles are about to begin - by the way, Columbus State finished off UC San Diego, 5-0, and Valdosta State defeated Queens (NY), 5-1, in earlier men's action.