Sunday, April 21, 2013
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – North Florida's Melanie Aguirre trailed 4-0 in a third set to ETSU junior Sofia Espana and put the Ospreys on her back by taking the next six games and clinching the Atlantic Sun Women’s Tennis Championship, 4-2, Sunday afternoon at the ETSU Tennis Complex.
The match came down to courts three and five. Espana looked headed for a victory to level the score 3-3, with junior Giulia Andreazza beginning a third set against Marina Cunningham. Aguirre made sure it didn’t come down to that, storming back to win and being named to the Atlantic Sun All-Tournament Team.
No. 2 seed UNF (16-14, 7-1 A-Sun) wins its second consecutive A-Sun crown, defeating No. 1 seed ETSU (14-6, 8-0 A-Sun) by the same final it did at the Bristol Racquet Club in 2012.
Atlantic Sun Insider: Singles Trio Locks Up Ospreys' Third Title
No. 1 singles player Lorena Aviles was named Tournament Championship MVP, defeating ETSU top singles player Antonia Kolovou in the final, 6-3, 6-3, along with going 2-0 in doubles alongside Aguirre. The third UNF all-tournament team member was Simona Weymar, who defeated ETSU freshman Lyn Yee Choo, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, ending Choo’s 16-match winning streak.
The Lady Bucs placed one on the all-tournament team, Anna Gerbasi, who won singles matches in both the semifinals and in Sunday’s final, 6-2, 6-1, over Taylor Hollander.
After going 8-0 during the A-Sun regular season, Choo and Gerbasi suffered their second defeat of the tournament. The UNF pair of Aviles and Aguirre downed the 63rd-ranked Lady Bucs, 8-4, giving the Ospreys the advantage in the series.
Matches on courts two and three were each in favor of ETSU, 6-5, when the Lady Bucs top duo went down. Weymar and Pereira then took the next two games at No. 2, getting back on serve and making Kolovou and Dahbi serve to keep ETSU in the point. The Lady Bucs were unable to hold and Kolovou hit a ball into the net as the Ospreys took the first point of the championship.
As she did on Saturday, Gerbasi bounced back right away with a smooth singles victory. The true freshman got the Lady Bucs on the scoreboard, defeating Hollander, 6-2, 6-1.
Including Gerbasi’s victory, ETSU took four of the six first sets. All-Atlantic Sun First Team member Giulia Andreazza won 6-4 on court three, junior newcomer Sofia Espana won a tiebreak 7-6 (7-5) on court five, while another junior newcomer in Salma Dahbi took a 7-5 first set on court six. UNF took the sets on courts one and two by scores of 6-3 and 7-6 (7-5).
Dahbi would give the Lady Buccaneers their first lead of the championship. A tight second set early on turned well in favor of the Moroccan, defeating Mariella Calderon, 7-5, 6-2.
UNF responded by forcing a third set minutes later on court five. Aguirre answered the first-set tiebreak loss with a 6-4 set-two win, bringing the No. 5 match to a deciding set. Meanwhile, A-Sun Player of the Year Aviles was a game from closing out the No. 1 match, and did just that by downing Kolovou, 6-3, 6-3, to bring the team score to its second tie, 2-2.
Weymar put the Ospreys back on top, downing Choo and ending the ETSU freshman’s 16-match winning streak. Already having taken the first-set tiebreak, Weymar downed the Malaysian, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, putting UNF a point from victory.
That’s when Espana led 4-0 in set three, only to watch Aguirre win the next six games and win UNF its second consecutive title.
Stetson’s Jen Miller and USC Upstate’s Constanze Kuerten were also named to the all-tournament team during the awards ceremony.