Winthrop women's tennis made history Friday, earning its first-ever victory in the NCAA Tournament with a 4-3 win over No. 20 Auburn in the first round.
How it happened
▪ Winthrop lost the doubles point for just the fifth time all season as Auburn took a 6-2 win at No. 2 and a 6-3 win at No. 3. Court one would go unfinished with No. 23 Megan Kauffman and Lauren Proctor leading 5-4.
▪ In singles play the Eagles got off to a strong start with No. 37 Lauren Proctor leading the way. Proctor got Winthrop on the board with a 6-3, 6-2 straight-set victory, her 21st of the season, over No. 98 Alizee Michaud.
▪ Alisa Soloveva earned her 20th victory of the season with a 6-3, 6-2 win over No. 56 Jaeda Daniel at court two to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead.
▪ Auburn would pull ahead 3-2 with wins on courts three and four. Winthrop's Megan Kauffman battled back from down 2-5 in the second set to down 4-5, but the match point was decided on a deuce point.
▪ On court six, Ellie Burns evened the team score at 3-3 with a 6-2, 6-2 straight-set win, sending all eyes to court five for the match decision.
▪ Kelic fell in the first set, 2-5, but turned it around in the second set, going up 5-4 as Burns was winning at No. 6. With momentum swinging to the Eagles, Kelic won the second set 6-4 to force a deciding third set.
▪ The third set got off to a back-and-forth start, until Kelic was able to go up 4-3 on a break, then 5-3 on serve. Auburn's Taylor Russo battled back to tie the set again at 5-5, but Kelic went up another crucial break to take a 6-5 lead, then held serve for the 7-5 victory and the historic team match win.
▪ Winthrop has appeared in the NCAA Tournament 16 times in program history, with today's victory marking the first in program history.
▪ The win was the first over a nationally ranked team this season. The Eagles are 1-2 against Top 25 teams this season.
▪ Winthrop improves to 20-5 overall on the season.
▪ With the match going unfinished, No. 23 doubles duo Lauren Proctor and Megan Kauffman remained undefeated at 22-0 on the season and we're leading at 5-4 at the conclusion of doubles play.
▪ Ellie Burns has won nine of her last 10 matches, all but one in straight sets, and has won seven consecutive matches.
▪ Soloveva's singles win improved her 2018 record vs. ranked players to 2-1 on the season. Proctor is also 2-1 against nationally ranked players.
Winthrop will take on host No. 4 Georgia Tech at 1 p.m. Saturday as the Yellow Jackets won in the second first round match of the day, a 4-0 victory over Eastern Kentucky.