COLUMBUS, GA & WINGATE, NC – All three PBC teams playing in the NCAA Tournament won their opening-round matches on Monday to advance. Columbus State defeated Emmanuel 4-0 while Flagler downed Tusculum 4-3 and North Georgia beat Queens 4-2.
The fifth-ranked Columbus State University women's tennis team opened in dominating style sweeping seventh-seeded Emmanuel 4-0 Monday.
Entering the tournament as the Southeast Region's second seed, the Lady Cougars advanced to the regional final to take on Flagler. The match will take place Tuesday at 1:00 p.m.
Doubles action didn't take long as the Lady Cougars raced out to leads in all three matches. Third doubles was the first to wrap up as Beatriz Lopez and Clara Audap swept their opponents 6-0. Finishing just minutes after was first doubles where the 32nd-ranked pair of Noa Davico and Luise Sachs won their match 6-1. Natalia Kattah Paz and Candice Paya were inching towards a win when play was called.
It was more of the same for Columbus State (23-4) in singles action. At third singles, 52nd-ranked Sachs made quick work of her foe taking the match 6-1, 6-2. Paya made the overall score 3-0 in CSU's favor as she dropped just one game at second singles to win 6-1, 6-0.
Audap started a little slow at sixth singles, but found her groove midway through the first set. Racing to get the victory, the freshman claimed the win 6-3, 6-2 to send the Lady Cougars into the second round.
Lopez was just one game shy from taking first singles when play was called. The 35th-ranked player was up 6-1, 5-3. At fifth singles, Paz was ahead 6-1, 4-2 while Davico battled back to take the first set 7-5 at the fourth spot.
Lixin Wang overcame a 6-0 loss in the second set with a 6-2 win in the third as No. 18 (Oracle/ITA Division II) Flagler College edged No. 16 Tusculum University 4-3 in a preliminary round match in Columbus.
Flagler improved to 17-6 and the Saints won their first opening round match since May 1, 2017. Tusculum concluded its season with a 17-4 record.
The day didn't start out well for the Saints as the Pioneers won two doubles matches to wrap up the first team points, but Flagler was able to roll in singles play.
Anika Nissen raised her record at No. 3 to 11-1 with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Emilie Hansen. That tied the match at 1-point apiece. But a pair of wins by Flagler wiped out a 2-1 Tusculum lead. Alessandra Traubimproved to 15-5 with her in at No. 5 singles (6-2 and 6-4), and No. 65 Eden Schlagenhauf gave Flagler a 3-2 lead with her 6-3, 7-5 win over Caitlin McCullough.
Tusculum squared the match at 3-all with a three-set win at No. 6, but it was Wang winning her eighth straight match that gave Flagler the win.
Behind a huge comeback at No. 1 doubles, the No. 12 University of North Georgia women's tennis team avenged a loss to Queens from earlier in the season with a 4-2 win in the opening round of the NCAA Southeast Regional Monday afternoon.
After Lexa Loden and Adrienne Bofinger quickly earned the first doubles win at No. 3, the top two lines were in tight battles. Holly Bennett and Vaishali Jorge found themselves down, 4-1, before storming back to win the match, 7-5, and secure the doubles point.
In singles action, the Royals used a straight sets win at No. 2 singles to tie the match up, 1-1, before taking the lead with another straight set win at No. 6. Bofinger would tie the match up with a 6-3, 7-6 win at No. 1 singles, followed by a Cibeles Zuddy win at No. 4, 6-3, 6-2.
With two matches left on the court, Claudelle Labonte Frey clinched the final point after her opponent double faulted on match point for the No. 5 singles line to finish with a 6-4, 6-3 score.
The Nighthawks will now face top-seeded and No. 10 Wingate tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line.
(Publisher's note: UNG stats will be added to this story as soon as they are received)