RADFORD, VA. – The USC Upstate women's tennis team won their first ever Big South Tournament match on Tuesday afternoon, defeating Longwood 4-0 to advance to the quarterfinals round.
For USC Upstate this is their first conference tournament win since the 2013 season. That year the Spartans defeated Kennesaw State in route to an Atlantic Sun Semifinals appearance.
"I could not be happier with the way we played today." USC Upstate head tennis coach Tim McLane said, "We had great intensity in the doubles and we carried that through all of our first sets. This group of ladies has done something that hasn't been done here in a few years and I could not be more proud of this team right now."
The Spartans got off to a start in doubles action against the Lancers. The Spartans No. 2 doubles tandem of Elin Hellberg and Victoria Saldh picked up their 11th victory of the season with a 6-0 shutout of Marija Venta and Anika Tylek. At the No. 3 doubles flight Noelia Acuna and Gabriela Cevallos brought home the doubles point with a 6-2 victory over Yulia Almiron and Jamie Breunig.
In Singles play USC Upstate got off to a red hot start winning the first set at all six courts in convincing fashion. Acuna was the first Spartan to finish her match, defeating Breunig 6-0, 6-4 to give the Spartans a 2-0 lead. Ana Boza then sailed through her match at the No. 6 flight winning 6-2, 6-2 over Crystal Nzewi. With four matches to play the Spartans just needed one more win to clinch the victory.
Saldh and Venta went back-and-forth in the opening set, with neither one yielding an inch to the other. Saldh came through with a 7-5 tiebreak win to take the first 7-6 over Venta. In the second set Saldh made sure it was not even close, winning the final set 6-2 to clinch the match for USC Upstate.
With the victory the Spartans will move on to play top-seeded Winthrop in the quarterfinals round of the tournament. The match will begin at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning at the Radford tennis complex.
"We'll enjoy this one for about an hour or two, and then we'll start getting ready to shock the world tomorrow morning," McLane replied.
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