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Fresno Pacific (Calif.) Wins First Women's Tennis National Championship

May 22, 2010
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May 22, 2010


MOBILE, Ala.(Final Bracket) Fresno Pacific (Calif.) ended four straight years of frustration at the NAIA Women’s Tennis National Championship in Mobile, Ala on Saturday. The Sunbirds knocked off six-time defending national champion Auburn Montgomery (Ala.), 5-2, to earn its first National Championship. Fresno Pacific had finished as the runner-up the previous four years.

Fresno Pacific swept all three doubles matches of the morning. Sara Celma and Cristina Vallederes captured two doubles, 8-6, and Erika Januskova and Yulia Blinovskaya claimed three doubles, 9-7. The Sunbirds Katia Sabate and Vanessa Heroux swung all of the momentum in FPU’s favor with a 9-8 (7) win in one doubles and 3-0 point lead.

Auburn Montgomery rallied back with two victories to start singles play. Whitney Byrd and Kveta Hajkova won four singles and six singles, respectively, but FPU’s early lead proved to be too much. Sara Celma won two singles for Fresno Pacific, 6-2, 6-4 to put the Sunbirds a point away from the title. Cristina Vallederes clinched the match for FPU with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Morgane Zowczak in three singles.

After the match, Fresno Pacific Head Coach Neil Castro was named Coach of the Year and Katia Sabate was presented the Marvin P. Richmond Outstanding Player Award.

Neil Castro, Fresno Pacific (Calif.)


Katia Sabate, Fresno Pacific (Calif.)


No. 1 – Katia Sabate (FPU) vs. Ana Veselinovic (AUM), 7-6 (6), 0-2 DNF
No. 2 – Sara Celma (FPU) def. Parija Maloo (AUM), 6-2, 6-4
No. 3 – Cristina Vallederes (FPU) def. Morgane Zowczak (AUM), 6-4, 6-3
No. 4 – Whitney Byrd (AUM) def. Vanessa Heroux (FPU), 6-2, 6-3
No. 5 – Erika Januskova (FPU) vs. Nathalie Sienkob (AUM), 5-7, 2-4 DNF
No. 6 – Kveta Hajkova (AUM) def. Yulia Blinovskaya (FPU), 6-2, 6-1

No. 1 – Katia Sabate / Vanessa Heroux (FPU) def. Ana Veselinovic / Morgane Zowczak (AUM), 9-8 (7)
No. 2 – Sara Celma / Cristina Vallederes (FPU) def. Nathalie Sienkob / Kveta Hajkova (AUM), 8-6
No. 3 – Erika Januskova / Yulia Blinovskaya (FPU) def. Whitney Byrd / Parija Maloo (AUM), 9-7

Championship Information

NAIA Women's Tennis Championship