SPARTANBURG, S.C. - For the sixth straight season, the USC Upstate women's tennis team will finish its conference season with a winning record, as it secured the mark with a 6-1 win over Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday morning at the USC Upstate Tennis Complex to improve to 12-4 overall and 6-3 in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
The Spartans earned the doubles point in dramatic split-point fashion. Freshmen Francisca Valderrama and Monica Pezzotti posted an 8-3 win over Jen Evans and Jessica Sweeting at No. 1 before a loss at No. 3 made the doubles point rest on the decision at No. 2. After taking a 7-5 lead, Upstate's pair of junior Emilia Milovaovic and freshman Simona Cacciuttolo lost a pair of games before breaking serve with an 8-7 lead to win the point, 9-7, over Bibiana Almeida and Iris Rendon.
In singles play, Upstate clinched the win with three two-set wins, as Valderrama posted a 6-4, 6-2 win over Priscilla Villemond at No. 1, Pezzotti added a 6-1, 7-5 win over Sweeting at No. 2 and senior Carolina Bello added an impressive 6-3, 6-4 win over Eva Sambrano to clinch the match.
Meanwhile, a pair of Upstate players came from behind to post three-set wins, as Cacciuttolo posted a 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over Iris Rendon at No. 4 and Milovanovic posted a 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 win over Melissa Narzisenfeld at No. 5.
The win was Milovanovic's 15th singles win of the year, tying her for the team lead with Cinthya Lazaro. Valderrama's win gave her 10 on the season, making her the 12th freshman in school history to reach 10 wins.
The Spartans wrap up their season on Tuesday when Campbell comes into the USC Upstate Tennis Complex for a 2 p.m. A-Sun contest.