By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern
MOBILE, Ala. — (Results | Bracket) Eight teams remain in national championship contention after two days of action at the Mobile Tennis Center in Mobile, Ala. Seven of the top eight seeds advanced to the 2014 NAIA Women’s Tennis National Championship quarterfinals, with Northwood (Fla.) pulling the lone upset of the second round.
Top-seeded Xavier (La.) rested its No. 5 and No. 7 singles players—Brandi Nelson and Carmen Nelson—against Davenport (Mich.), which earned its first-ever national championship win yesterday. The Gold Nuggets advanced with a 5-2 win, with victories at No. 1 (8-2) and No. 2 doubles (8-1) and No. 1 (6-0, 6-1), No. 2 (6-1, 6-2) and No. 5 singles (6-0, 6-1).
No. 2 Georgia Gwinnet was one of three seeded teams to record a 5-0 sweep, along with No. 4 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) and No. 5 Embry-Riddle (Fla.). After sweeping doubles play, the Grizzlies won at No. 3 (6-1, 6-3) and No. 5 singles (6-1, 6-0) to eliminate Indiana Wesleyan, which recorded the only upset of yesterday’s first round. The win was the first-ever national championship victory for Georgia Gwinnett, which is appearing in its first-ever national championship in its first year of eligibility.
The Warhawks and Eagles each won at No. 5 and No. 6 singles, after sweeping the doubles matches, to defeat Concordia (Calif.) and Graceland (Iowa). Anna Rudolfova and Siriporn Phakamad each finished their matches 6-0, 6-0 for Auburn Montgomery, while Paola Montero and Paula Ortiz Couder brought home the match for Embry-Riddle with 6-1, 6-0 (No. 5) and 6-0, 6-1 (No. 6) victories.
No. 3 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.), No. 6 Brenau (Ga.) and No. 7 SCAD Savannah (Ga.) are also moving on to the quarterfinals with 5-1 wins. Sarah Bernos and Anna Gaprindashvili suffered the lone loss for the Blue Raiders, falling 8-4 at No. 1 doubles to Milligan’s (Tenn.) top duo of Rachel Hodas and Kayla Kelly. Kateryna Shkot had the only win for Oklahoma Baptist, a 6-3, 6-2 decision over the Golden Tigers’ No. 2 Maria Perdomo Medina, while the tandem of Grace Davis and Emily Keach had Westmont’s only victory at No. 3 doubles, defeating the Bees’ duo of India Hart and Carolina Viteri.
Lindsey Wilson’s singles wins came from Alicia Rodriguez at No. 3 (6-0, 6-0), Jessica King at No. 4 (6-1, 6-2) and Anna Gaprindashvili at No. 5 (6-0, 6-1); Brenau picked up its points from Zalina Nazarova at No. 3 (6-1, 6-1) and Stephanie Moniz at No. 4 (6-0, 6-0); and SCAD Savannah earned victories at No. 2 (6-1, 6-0), No. 3 (6-2, 6-4) and No. 6 (6-2, 6-1) courtesy of Maja Plavsic, Maria Barragan and Carolina Viteri, respectively.
In the sole upset of the second round, Northwood (Fla.) knocked off No. 8 Vanguard (Calif.), 5-4. The Seahawks No. 1 doubles pairing of Justyna Wojcik and Valentina Souki rattled off an 8-0 win, while the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles matches were hard-fought, with each ending 9-7. Vanguard’s duo of Sophie Angner and Gabrielle Alford won at No. 2, while Northwood grabbed a 2-1 lead heading into singles with a win by Livia Toth and Julia Ferraz at No. 3.
In singles play, Vanguard took its first lead of the match, 4-3, with wins at No. 1 (6-1, 6-4), No. 2 (7-6, 7-5) and No. 4 (6-3, 7-6) and a loss at No. 3 (6-0, 6-3). But, Northwood’s Julia Ferraz pulled the Seahawks back even with a 6-4, 6-3 win at No. 5. With the final spot in the national championship quarterfinals on the line, Julia Cusumano proved victorious, defeating the Lions No. 6 Brooke Ferslov-Jensen (2-6, 6-1, 6-4) and punching the Seahawks ticket to the next round.
NeuLion, the official video streaming company of select NAIA National Championship events, will be broadcasting the national championship match from Mobile on Saturday, May 17. For more information on the free live video stream and to pre-register, click here.