SUNDAY, APRIL 20, 2008
Two Sweet: Women's tennis repeats as A-Sun champions

April 20, 2008


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - The JU women's tennis team picked up its second straight Atlantic Sun Conference championship on Sunday afternoon, knocking off host and second seed East Tennessee State, 4-2.

With the win, the Dolphins (20-5) advance to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season while also racking up their second straight 20-win campaign.

"I'm so proud of these young ladies and what they have accomplished," said JU head coach Shane Wood, who was able to guide the Dolphins back to the title in his first season at the helm. "This group played so well as a team and our chemistry was really strong all season.

"Everyone on the team was a contributor this week in winning the title. Now, we're going to get ready for the NCAA Tournament and seeing what we can do against the best in the country."

JU becomes the first repeat champion since UCF's run of four straight from 1997-2000, knocking off ETSU in the finals for the second straight year as well.

The Dolphins opened the match with a 1-0 lead by taking the crucial doubles point. Lina Xu and Juliana Umeki opened with an 8-4 win in the No. 3 match, with Tatiana Soldatova and Iva Jaresova clinching the point with an 8-6 win in the No. 1 match.

Jacksonville kept the momentum going in the singles, taking a 3-0 lead with wins by Xu at No. 1 and Carrero at No. 6. Xu picked up a 6-3, 6-0 win while Carrero took home a 6-1, 6-4 victory. The win extended Xu's winning streak to eight while Carrero's runs to four.

The Bucs didn't go away, cutting the deficit to 3-2 by winning the No. 3 and 5 matches. Soldatova lost at No. 3, 6-4, 6-1 while Jaresova dropped a 6-2, 6-1 decision in the No. 5 match.

Lena Willi, up a set and a break in the second, clinched the match as ETSU's Olya Batsula retired due to cramping. For Willi, it was her 11th straight win.