D2 Tennis – Barry takes first women’s title
It was fitting that the final point came down to the top singles flight where senior co-captain, SSC Player of the Year, and third-ranked, Barbi Pocza, was engaged in a three-set battle with #5 Magdalena Ekert. Pocza was flawless in the first set, taking all six games for a first-set win.
Ekert took the win in the second set by a 6-3 score. Pocza took the first game, but Ekert took the next two and two of the final three to help her to the second-set win.
With the Bucs up 4-3, and Laura Boguet still engaged in her own three-set battle with #32 Jessica Yanoff, Pocza and Ekert traded games back and forth through 3-3. It was all Pocza in the final three, however, breaking Ekert twice to take the 6-3 win in the third set and Barry’s final point for the national championship.
The Bucs started the match in doubles action on Saturday before the match was called for the night due to weather. Doubles action finished on Sunday morning with Barry taking one point and Lynn taking two.
The second-ranked duo of Pocza and Angie Werschel beat #4 Eleonora Iannozzi and Ioana Ivan 8-6. Prior to the delay on Saturday, the Bucs trailed 6-4. The team took all four games on Sunday morning, breaking the Knights twice, for the 8-6 win.
At number two doubles, #22 Laura Boguet and Alex Gwizdowski lost 8-5 to eleventh-ranked Ekert and Isabell Raich. They were down 7-2 after Saturday. On Sunday, they took the first three, but lost the final game.
At No. 3, Julie Stas and Olivia Matuszak lost 8-4 to Yanoff and Andrea Berkova. Lynn took the first two games then gave one to Barry. The Knights next took four straight and won two of the last five for the win.
The remaining Buccaneer points came in singles at flights three, four and six. Freshman Mona Mansour earned Barry’s second point to tie it up at 2-2. Mansour was dominant over Aleksis Vukadinovic, winning 6-0 and 6-1 at number six.
Moments later, Barry took a 3-2 lead as #44 Caroline Wendling upset #15 Raich in straight sets. Wendling took the third flight 6-0, 6-1.
The match was tied again at 3-3 when #36 Werschel lost 6-2, 6-1 to #9 Iannozi.
Matuszak beat #27 Ivan for the second time this season at No. 4. Matuszak downed Ivan 6-4, 6-0. Matuszak broke Ivan twice in the first set. Later in the first, Ivan broke Matuszak once to put the score of the set at 5-4. On serve, Matuszak took a 40-15 game to take the first set. In the second set, she was flawless, winning 6-0 to take the set and give Barry a 4-3 lead.
Boguet’s match with Yanoff went unfinished. Yanoff took the first set 5-7. Boguet dominated the second 6-2, and the pair was tied 3-3 in the third when the match ended.
The Bucs rolled through the first two rounds of the tournament on Wednesday and Thursday with 5-0 wins over #15 Cameron and #27 Concordia. In the semifinals, the Bucs faced off with and beat three-time defending national champion Armstrong Atlantic 5-3 to reach the championship match.
The Buccaneers had previously faced off against Lynn twice this season. In their regular-season matchup, the Knights took a 6-3 win over the Buccaneers. The teams met again in the Sunshine State Conference Championship match with the Buccaneers besting the Knights for a 5-2 win and their second-straight, and fifth overall, conference crown.
The Bucs finished the season with a 26-1 overall record. For the Buccaneers, this is their first NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship in school history and the school’s ninth overall.
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