ELON, North Carolina – The No. 6-seeded UNCW women's tennis team posted its second upset in as many days with a 4-2 victory over No. 2 Elon early Saturday to reach the CAA championship match for the third time in five years.
The surging Seahawks, 11-7, turned back No. 4 College of Charleston on Friday and then shocked the Phoenix on Saturday to return to the CAA finals after winning the conference title in 2014. Elon closed out its season with an 18-8 record.
UNCW will face No. 1 seed and 24-time CAA titlist William & Mary on Sunday at 10 a.m. in the championship match at the Piedmont Indoor Tennis Center in Greensboro, N.C.
UNCW, which has won five of its last six matches, got off to a strong start by winning the crucial doubles point with a narrow decision at the No. 3 position. After the first two doubles teams split matches, UNCW's No. 3 tandem of Celeste Matute and Xandra Fougner won the final two games of the set for a 7-5 triumph, giving the Seahawks a 1-0 edge going into singles competition.
In singles, the Phoenix evened the match at 1-all with a victory at the No. 5 slot, but Fougner answered with a 6-2, 6-2, verdict over Kirsten Ward at No. 4 singles for a 2-1 advantage.
Elon responded with a win behind Suzanne Zenoni at No. 3 singles, but junior Madara Straume of UNCW defeated Elon's Erica Braschi, 6-3, 6-3, at the top of the lineup to improve to 15-3 on the season and provide a 3-2 lead for the Seahawks.
Matute, a freshman from Islip, N.Y., then clinched a match for the third time this year by beating Elon's Alex Koniaev, 6-4, 6-4, at No. 6 singles.
#6 UNCW 4, #2 Elon 2
April 22, 2017 | Jimmy Powell Tennis Center | Elon, N.C.
1. Madara Straume (UNCW) def. Erica Braschi (ELON) 6-3, 6-3
2. Olivia Lucas (ELON) vs. Annika Sillanpaa (UNCW) 6-2, 3-6, 3-5, unfinished
3. Suzanne Zenoni (ELON) def. Alix Theodossiou (UNCW) 6-1, 6-4
4. Xandra Fougner (UNCW) def. Kirsten Ward (ELON) 6-2, 6-2
5. Maria Paraja (ELON) def. Sabrina Barisano (UNCW) 6-1, 6-3
6. Celeste Matute (UNCW) def. Alex Koniaev (ELON) 6-4, 6-4
1. Madara Straume/Sabrina Barisano (UNCW) def. Natalia Janowicz/Maria Paraja (ELON) 6-1
2. Olivia Lucas/Erica Braschi (ELON) def. Alix Theodossiou/Annika Sillanpaa (UNCW) 6-2
3. Celeste Matute/Xandra Fougner (UNCW) def. Kirsten Ward/Suzanne Zenoni (ELON) 7-5
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (5,4,3,1,6)