ST. AUGUSTINE – Florida Southern took a 4-2 lead heading into the final three matches, but couldn't clinch the win as 12th-ranked Flagler rallied for a 5-4 victory over the No. 33 ranked Moccasins in the season opener for FSC. The match took four hours and 50 minutes to play.
Flagler (2-0) grabbed a 2-1 lead after doubles competition as its number two doubles team of Mary Jo Nanti and Patrycja Maslanka topped the Moccasins' pair of Linnea Skymberg and Natalija Popovic by an 8-1 score and the number one team of Lizanne Jinkertz and Kelly Burge downed Sasha Nionova and Selin Devrimci by a 8-4 tally. Florida Southern picked up the win at number three doubles with an 8-6 win by Lorena Rionda and Stepnik over Flagler's Felicitas Runkel and Hilary Hanton.
In singles, Florida Southern's Lola Asis picked up her first collegiate victory with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Flagler's Hanton at number six to even the match at 2-all. Nionova, ranked 15th in the South Region, then put the Moccasins ahead 3-2 with a win at number one singles, topping No. 44 nationally-ranked Jinkertz, 6-4, 6-2. Florida Southern then got within one win of taking the match as Rionda defeated Maslanka to put the Moccasins ahead, 4-2.
Nanti topped Skymberg, ranked 19th in the South, 7-6, 6-2 at number two and Burge defeated Devrimci, 1-6, 6-2, 6-2 to knot the match at 4-all.
The deciding face-off came down to FSC's Popovic against Flagler's Runkel. Popovic battled but fell in the end, 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 to lift the Saints to the win.
Florida Southern plays next at Eckerd College on Wednesday, February 15 at 3 p.m. in St. Petersburg.