BRADENTON - They had to wait another day, but the Florida Southern women's tennis team grabbed third place in the 2017 Sunshine State Conference Tournament with a 5-3 win over Rollins here Sunday at the IMG Academy. The third-place finish is the best for the Moccasins since 2007.
The match was started on Saturday, but rains made the courts unplayable soon after doubles play concluded with Rollins ahead, 2-1.
Rollins took the first win of the match on Saturday as Savanna Fuller and Teresa Kaiser topped Lorena Rionda and Magda Stepnik, 8-4, at number three while Sasha Nionova and Linnea Skymberg tied the match for Florida Southern wth am 8-5 win over Fabiana Vitanza and Alexandra Borg at number one. The Tars captured the final doubles match as Shannon Etten and Caryle Goldman defeated Lola Asis and Selin Devrimci, 9-8, at number two.
Once singles play commenced Sunday morning, Florida Southern's Devrimci quickly dispatched Borg, 6-0, 6-0, at number four to tie the match at 2-all for the Moccasins. Natalija Popovic kept the ball rolling for Florida Southern with a 6-2, 6-2 triumph over Fuller at number five and Rionda downed Goldman, 6-2, 6-2, at number three to put Florida Southern up 4-2.
The Tars kept it interesting as Kaiser defeated Asis, 6-2, 6-4 at number six to make the score 4-3, but Skymberg topped Etten, 6-3, 6-4, at number two to clinch the win for Florida Southern.
Nionova, the Mocs #1 singles player, had the lead in her match, 2-6, 6-4, 4-1 over Vitanza when played was stopped as once a team reaches five wins, the match is complete and all singles matches still in play are halted and not completed.
In the SSC Tournament championship match, the nation's top-ranked team edged the nation's second-ranked team as Barry topped Lynn, 5-4.
Florida Southern now awaits word on a possible berth in the NCAA Division II postseason tournament. Six teams will be selected to participant in two preliminary-round tournaments. Two champions from each of the eight regions will advance to determine the 16-team field in the national finals, May 10-13.
In the latest NCAA Division II South Region Ranking released on Wednesday, the Moccasins were number five. Barry was the region's top-ranked team, followed by Lynn, West Florida, Valdosta State, Florida Southern, West Alabama, Nova Southeastern, and Saint Leo.
The NCAA Division II Women's Tennis Selection Show will be at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 25. Fans can view the show HERE.