LAKELAND – Florida Southern's Lola Asis battled, but in the end, dropped a 6-7, 7-5, 6-4 decision to Saint Leo's Madeleine Gauthier at number five singles as No. 29 Saint Leo upset 25th-ranked Florida Southern here Wednesday at the Wynee Warden Tennis Center in the regular season finale for the Moccasins. With the defeat, FSC falls to 13-6 overall and 6-3 in the Sunshine State Conference while Saint Leo improves to 9-5 and 5-3.
The Moccasins now await the outcome of Saint Leo's home match with Lynn on Friday to see if they will be the number four or number five seed in the SSC Tournament which will be held April 20-22 at the IMG Academy in Bradenton. If Lynn wins, the Moccasins will be seeded third and have a rematch with the Lions who would be the #6 seed. If Saint Leo wins, FSC will take the number four seed and face fifth-seeded Nova Southeastern.
Saint Leo took two of the three doubles matches while the Moccasins captured three of the first five singles matches to leave the match up to the outcome of Asis' match with Gauthier.
Gauthier and Marine Beugre-Guyot got Saint Leo's first win of the match with an 8-2 win over Sasha Nionova and Selin Devrimci at number one doubles while Lorena Rionda and Magda Stepnik picked up FSC's first win with an 8-6 victory over Kristyna Jurkova Fabiola Cardenas at number three. Maja Pindelska and Katherine Zaatini closed out doubles play for Saint Leo with an 8-4 win over Asis and Linnea Skymberg.
Zaatini defeated FSC's Avery Hunter, 6-2, 6-1 at number six singles while Skymberg downed Pindelska, 6-4, 6-0 at number two. Jurkova then won out, 6-2, 6-4 over the Mocs' Carolyn Cureton at number three while Nionova, the 32nd-ranked singles player in the NCAA Division II, upset Beugre-Guyot, the 23rd-ranked player, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 at number one.
Florida Southern's Natalija Popovic edged Saint Leo's Cardenas, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 at number four to set up the decisive match.