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Argos defeat Blazers, one win away from NCAA Championships appearance

No. 9 West Florida will look to defeat No. 7 Saint Leo for the second time this season Tuesday

Monika Kochanova clinched the match victory as UWF advanced to the NCAA South Region Final with a 5-0 win over Valdosta State (Photo by UWF Athletic Communications)
Monika Kochanova clinched the match victory as UWF advanced to the NCAA South Region Final with a 5-0 win over Valdosta State (Photo by UWF Athletic Communications)

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SAINT LEO, Fla. – The No. 3 seeded West Florida women’s tennis team defeated No. 6 Valdosta State for the third time this season Monday afternoon at the NCAA South Regional Semifinal at the Saint Leo Tennis Center in Saint Leo, Fla.. The Argonauts (20-6) cruised past the Blazers (13-9) in their fourth consecutive 5-0 victory.

UWF defeated VSU 5-0 in the Gulf South Conference Final in its last match April 21. It was the third consecutive season that the Argos won at least 20 matches and 11th since joining Division II in 1997. All 11 occurred during UWF coach Derrick Racine’s 14-year tenure.

“We started off well in doubles,” Racine said. “It was the third time playing them (this season), so I think the girls just wanted to start off strong so we didn’t give them a chance to get in the match.”

UWF swept doubles with 8-3, 8-4, and 8-3 victories at Nos. 1, 2 and 3, respectively.

“Then we carried over into singles,” Racine said. “Monika (Kochanova) was able to avenge a loss at the No. 1 spot. Luiza (Sonnervig) took care of business and focused like she normally does.”

Luiza Sonnervig (Sao Paulo, Brazil/Ateneu HS) was leading 6-0, 5-0 when Alina Nagel retired to give UWF its first singles point. Then, nationally-ranked No. 27 Monika Kochanova (Bratislava, Slovakia/Sports Gymnasium Stefana Majora) won 6-0, 6-0 over No. 26 Michelle Fischer at No. 1 singles to clinch the victory.

Kochanova had lost to Fischer 6-4, 7-5 in the first match between the two teams Feb. 22 at Valdosta, and the two didn’t finish their match at the GSC Finals before the Argos clinched the victory.

UWF advanced to play No. 2 seed Saint Leo Tuesday, April 30, at 9:30 a.m. ET in the regional final. The nationally-ranked No. 7 Lions were the highest-ranked opponent that the No. 9 Argos defeated during the regular season, winning 6-3 April 6 in Pensacola.

“We beat them in a very close match,” Racine said. “I think the girls are pumped and have a great shot, but at the same time we’ve got to play well. They’re a good team. We know their good in doubles. That’s going to be key for us.”

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#9 West Florida 5, Valdosta State 0
04/29/13 at Saint Leo, Fla. (Saint Leo Tennis Center)

Singles competition
1. #27 Monika Kochanova (UWF) def. #26 Michelle Fischer (VSU) 6-0, 6-0
2. Luiza Sonnervig (UWF) def. Alina Nagel (VSU) 6-0, 5-0, retired
3. Nina Bubelova (UWF) vs. Jennifer Rink (VSU) 6-2, 2-1, unfinished
4. Mariana Sonnervig (UWF) vs. Laura Ubeda (VSU) 2-5, unfinished
5. Giovana Patitucci (UWF) vs. Julianna Boehm (VSU) 5-2, unfinished
6. Fernanda Amaral (UWF) vs. Jessica Tuggle (VSU) 6-1, 5-0, unfinished

Doubles competition
1. Monika Kochanova/Giovana Patitucci (UWF) def. Michelle Fischer/Julianna Boehm (VSU) 8-3
2. Luiza Sonnervig/Mariana Sonnervig (UWF) def. Laura Ubeda/Alina Nagel (VSU) 8-4
3. Nina Bubelova/Fernanda Amaral (UWF) def. Jennifer Rink/Jessica Tuggle (VSU) 8-3

Match Notes
Valdosta State 13-9; Regional ranking #8
West Florida 20-6; National ranking #9; Regional ranking #5
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (2,1)
NCAA South Region Semifinal Match #2
West Florida advances to face Saint Leo in Region Finals

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