Eagles' Season Ends in Loss to Top-Seeded Spartans
CHARLESTON, S.C. - The Georgia Southern Women's Tennis team's season came to an end on Friday afternoon when it fell to top-seeded UNC Greensboro in the quarterfinal round of the SoCon Championship. The 17-5 Spartans advanced to the semifinals by downing the Eagles, 4-0.
The Eagles (6-15, 2-8 SoCon) fell in a quick hole when they dropped the doubles point to the Spartans. Annette Rios and Kayla Gammie, a duo selected to the SoCon Second Team All-Conference, struck first blood for the Spartan squad when they defeated (Alpharetta, Ga.) and (Atlanta, Ga.) at No. 3 doubles, 8-2. Niltooli Wilkins and Lucy Dougherty soon clinched the doubles point for UNCG by finishing off (Vigo, Spain) and (Kennesaw, Ga.) at the No. 1 position by an 8-3 score. SoCon First Team All-Conference tandem Alex Whitehead and Devon Sutherland were also leading Eagles (Charleston, S.C.) and (Rome, Ga.) at No. 2 doubles when play was halted.
The Spartans sustained their momentum from grabbing the doubles point by striking quickly in singles play. Dougherty downed (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) at No. 5 singles to give the Spartans a 2-0 lead. Stephanie Falcon, a selection to the SoCon Second Team All-Conference, gave UNCG their third point of the morning when she finished off Maffett at No. 6 singles. The Spartans clinched the match victory and semifinal berth when Whitehead outlasted Beeler at No. 2 singles by a 6-1, 6-4 score. The Eagles were in contention in all three of the other singles positions, but play was stopped because the match outcome was clinched. Garrido was up a set and a game on fellow First Team All-Conference selection and SoCon Player of the Year Wilkins at No. 1 singles, 7-6 (7-3), 1-0. Wilkins was a perfect 10-0 in regular season conference action and 19-1 overall. Kitchen had split sets and was in the third against Diana Yurtkuran at No. 3 singles, while Prickett had narrowly lost the first set to Second Team All-Conference selection Rios at No. 4 singles and was trailing by a 2-1 count in the second.
"We competed hard today and definitely made UNCG earn the victory," said Head Coach . "We played them closely at several different singles positions. We gave it all we had and even though we lost, it was a great match to end on. I'm proud of the way the team played both days."
Despite significant injuries to Prickett, Dzuba, and Maffett, the Eagle squad battled adversity and turned in a successful season capped off with their second-consecutive quarterfinal appearance in the SoCon Championship and sixth in eight years. Senior leader Dzuba's absence will be felt, but several young members of the team gained valuable experience that will only help them as they move forward in their collegiate careers. The Eagles will look to reload in the offseason and prepare for the 2012-13 campaign.
Fans can follow their Eagles at GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com or receive short updates at facebook.com/GSAthletics, twitter.com/GSAthletics or on Google+ at gplus.to/GSAthletics.
- Category: Women's Tennis
- Published on Friday, 20 April 2012 15:37