Winthrop University

Winthrop women's tennis team makes history against Auburn in NCAA Tournament

Winthrop's Aida Kelic clinched the final victory for the Eagles May 11, 2018 in Atlanta, helping them beat Auburn in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Winthrop's tournament win was the first for a Big South Conference school.
Winthrop's Aida Kelic clinched the final victory for the Eagles May 11, 2018 in Atlanta, helping them beat Auburn in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Winthrop's tournament win was the first for a Big South Conference school.

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.

Notables

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.

Up next

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.

Related stories from Rock Hill Herald

  Comments