Weather Decides When, But Kovacikova Decides How It Ends in 5-4 Win Over #8 California (PA)
LAKELAND - Rain, thunder and lightning all played a role Wednesday night, but in the end, Veronika Kovacikova played the decisive one. Florida Southern's lone senior pulled out a 3-set win at #3 singles after a storm had halted play earlier, snapping a 4-4 tie and giving the Moccasins a win over #8 California (PA).
Joalis Dominguez also won a three-setter for the Moccasins (5-2), but ironically she and Kovacikova were on the other end of their doubles match, and it was Florida Southern's other two doubles teams that gave them a 2-1 lead earlier in the day. Agnese Rozite and Sabine Goge struck the go-ahead point for the Moccasins there with an 8-4 win at the top flight over Annabel Pieschl and Jade Pondicas.
Goge then put Florida Southern ahead 3-1 with a straight-set win at #2 singles, but the Vulcans (11-6) tied the score with wins at #5 and #6. The score was still tied at three when play was stopped due to rain and lightning, but the Mocs were able to re-claim the lead when Dominguez won her match at #4 over Anastassiya Zherdeva, 2-6, 6-0, 6-3. That left Crystal Copeland and Kovacikova still on the court, with each battling in the third set with the match on the line.
Copeland, who had already teamed with Laura Wichmann for an 8-6 win in doubles, ended up falling in her singles by a 6-1 score in the third set, but Kovacikova won her third set, 6-4, to defeat Franziska Steinhardt and give the win to Florida Southern some five hours after the match started. It was Florida Southern's first win over a top-10 team this year, and the highest ranked opponent the Mocs have beaten since a 5-4 over #5 West Florida in 2008.
The Moccasins, who completed a stretch of three matches in three days, will next play on Monday, March 14, when they host Bentley at 3:00 p.m.