`Jacks Advance to Finals, Will Face Texas-Arlington
April 27, 2012
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The No. 46-ranked Stephen F. Austin women's tennis team has advanced to the conference championship match for the first time in program history after knocking off fifth-seeded Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 4-1, Friday afternoon at the Schlief Tennis Complex in Nacogdoches, Texas. SFA (22-4) will face third-seeded Texas-Arlington in the championship match.
"You have to give a lot of credit to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi," said head coach Patrick Sullivan. "I have a lot of respect for their coach, and his program. He always has his team's ready to play and today was no different. They really battled us hard today, but I'm proud of how our girls responded.
"One of our goals at the beginning of the year was to win a conference regular-season and tournament title. We took care of business during the regular season, and now we have put ourselves in a position to achieve the next goal. It will be an exciting day."
The `Jacks won the doubles point by taking matches at the Nos. 2 and 3 positions. The team of senior Alina Shazhko and junior Jithmie Jayawickrema recorded an 8-3 win at No. 2, while freshman Elena Kordolaimi and sophomore Laura Servise posted an 8-5 win at the third spot.
Jayawickrema pushed SFA's advantage to 2-0 when she picked up a 6-1, 6-1 win over A&M-Corpus Christi's Mia Matuszak at No. 6 singles. Shazhko added another point when she followed suit with a 6-2, 6-2 win at No. 2 singles.
The Islanders were able to cut the lead to 3-1 with a victory at No. 1 singles, but that win came only seconds before freshman Malena Gordo closed out the victory with a 7-5, 6-2 decision over the Islanders Stefania Nicolae at the No. 4 spot.
SFA's victory sets up a little drama for the conference finals. The top-seeded SFA women will take on Texas-Arlington in the tournament finals. UTA is the only conference team during the regular season to defeat SFA recording a 4-0 victory. The setback came in the regular season finale in Arlington. The Lady Mavs advanced to the finals with victories over No. 6 Lamar, and No. 7 Sam Houston State. Saturday's championship match will begin at 2 p.m. from the Schlief Tennis Complex.