Winthrop women’s tennis team continued its Big South Conference dominance Saturday in Rock Hill, taking a hard-fought, 4-3 victory over second-seeded Liberty to claim the Big South women’s tennis championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The result is the Eagles’ 20th team championship; no other Big South club has won more than three conference titles.
The Eagles fell behind 1-0 after Liberty took the doubles point, then quickly bounced back to take the first two singles matches. Liberty (18-9, 7-1 Big South) then charged ahead 3-2, leaving Winthrop (19-5, 8-0) needing to win the top two courts to take the title. Lauren Proctor took the first-set tiebreak over Liberty’s Ashley Bongart on court one, then took the second set, 6-3, drawing the Eagles level. Alisa Soloveva claimed the first set, 6-2, over the Flames’ Maria Medina on court two. Medina then took the second set, 6-3, leaving the decision to the final set on the final court. Soloveva took the court and the crown with a 6-3 decision in that third and final set.
Proctor and Soloveva’s victories extended their top two individual records in the conference. Proctor has won 20 of 22 matches, while Soloveva has taken 19. Neither has dropped a match to a Big South foe. Proctor and Megan Kauffman extended their unbeaten season record to 22-0 with a doubles victory over Liberty’s Anna Dollar and Evangeline Crist earlier in the day.
The Eagles will now await their NCAA tournament destination. The NCAA tennis brackets will be announced May 1, at 5 p.m.
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The Big South Conference Tuesday announced Proctor as its Player of the Year, with coach Cid Carvalho its Coach of the Year. Proctor and Soloveva took first-team all-conference singles honors, joined by the doubles teams of Proctor/Kauffman and Soloveva/Tayla Van Eck on the first-team doubles side. Kauffman also received second-team all-conference recognition.
Diego Quiroz was a first-team all-conference singles honoree on the men’s side, partnering with Tremayne Mitchell to form a first-team doubles pairing. Mitchell was named to the second-team all-conference singles lineup. Gabriel Dias and Joshua Ryan were named to the second-team all-conference doubles group.
Men’s tennis finishes season in 2nd
Winthrop’s men’s tennis team saw its season come to a close Wednesday afternoon, falling 4-3 to second-seeded Campbell in the Big South men’s tennis tournament at the Rock Hill Tennis Center. Campbell (17-5, 6-1 Big South) pulled ahead, 3-2, late in the day, followed by Winthrop’s Mitchell claiming a singles victory on court two to even the proceedings at three. The Camels’ Ted Williams then survived a 7-5, tiebreaker victory over Winthrop’s Ryan to secure the hardware for his side.
Winthrop (13-8, 7-0) recorded its first undefeated season and regular-season league title in eight seasons.
Women’s lacrosse receives third seed
The Big South Conference Saturday announced its bracket for the upcoming women’s lacrosse championship. Winthrop (12-5, 5-2 Big South) will be the third seed in the tournament, and will open postseason play Saturday, April 28, with a quarterfinal matchup against sixth-seeded Longwood at Eagle Field. That game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. face-off. The winner will advance to face second-seeded Liberty in a 7 p.m. start on May 4 at High Point’s Vert Stadium.
The Eagles finished their regular season Saturday, taking down Gardner-Webb, 23-11. Senior attacker Kristen Shriver set a Big South single-game record with 10 goals on just 11 shots. Shriver added two helpers, as Winthrop connected on 23 of 29 shots on goal.
Winthrop’s Nicole Beatson still ranks near the top among the nation’s goal scorers, averaging 4.50 goals per game through April 19. Only Harvard’s Julia Glynn ranks higher, averaging 4.54 goals per contest.