Senior Tina Ronel for the Armstrong Lady Pirates



Lady Pirates Advance To NCAA Semifinals


(May 12, 2011) The No. 4-ranked and three-time defending NCAA Division II national champion Armstrong Atlantic State University women's tennis team advanced to the national semifinals for an eighth straight time with a 5-0 victory over No. 5-ranked Hawai'i Pacific on Thursday afternoon at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Fla.

The Lady Pirates (28-2) earn a date with No. 2-ranked Barry University - 5-0 winners over Concordia (N.Y.) on Thursday - in one national semifinal match at 1:00 p.m. on Friday. Hawai'i Pacific finishes the season with a 19-6 overall record.

The match was completely different from the regular season matchup these two teams engaged in two months ago - the Warriors led early in all three doubles matches on that day, taking two of three doubles wins and pushing the Lady Pirates to a close 5-4 match score.

Thursday, the Lady Pirates broke the first serve of HPU in all three doubles matches, coming away with a doubles sweep and a commanding 3-0 lead. Aleksandra Filipovski and Jessica Gardefjord were first off the court with an 8-2 win over Florie Paquay and Carrie Shuler at No. 3 doubles, then the No. 3-ranked duo of Alida Muller-Wehlau and Barbora Krtickova claimed an 8-3 win over No. 7-ranked Zora Vickova and Celina Goetti at No. 1 doubles. Tina Ronel and Kathleen Henry finished things off with an 8-5 win over Ielyzaveta Rybakova and Aleksandra Stankovic at No. 3 doubles.

In singles play, Armstrong's No. 12-ranked Filipovski was leading the Warriors' No. 42-ranked Goetti, 2-1, in the first set, but the elements forced Goetti to retire during the changeover, giving the Lady Pirates a quick fourth point. Senior and No. 28-ranked Ronel then finished off a 6-1, 6-1 straight-set win over HPU's Stankovic at No. 4 singles to clinch the match.

In the last eight consecutive trips to the national semifinals, the Lady Pirates have gone 6-2 in semifinal matches, eventually going on to capture national titles in 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Barry, however, is one of two teams to have defeated the Lady Pirates this season - they took a 6-3 win over Armstrong back on April 8 in Miami Shores, Fla., ending the Lady Pirates' school-record consecutive match win streak at 69. The win was the first for Barry over Armstrong women's tennis since 2003.

Visit the Pirates Tennis Blog for the latest updates and stats.

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