SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The No. 3 Stetson Hatters escaped an upset bid from No. 6 NJIT in the wee hours of Saturday morning to advance to the Atlantic Sun Women's Tennis Semifinals. The Hatters picked up wins on four of six singles courts to collect the victory.
The Highlanders started out strong, dominating doubles play on the first two courts to pick up the 1-0 lead. The pair of Rafaella Sampaio and Amanda Helminsky were the first to finish, defeating Alexandra Lyubimova and Maja Salibasic by a score of 6-2. The Hatters tied things with a 6-3 win on court three before Nathalie Habegger and Alba Rosas Garcia sealed the deal, 6-2 on court one.
Stetson's Carolina Meregalli quickly brought Stetson even, crusing to a 6-0, 6-2 win on court four for the Hatters' first point of the late night session. The remaining singles matches on court would not be so easy to decide, however, as the first three courts all went into three sets. Eveline Lepinay of Stetson grabbed her 15th singles win of the season, storming back late to defeat upstart freshman Sampaio 6-4, 2-6, 6-1, while just seconds later Arijana Korac recovered from an early hole to take down Habegger 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 as Stetson ran out 3-1.
NJIT failed to concede the match, battling back to take wins on courts three and five to even things at 3-3. Helminsky dominated court five to win 6-0, 6-2, while Rosas Garcia won in dramatic fashion over Salibasic 7-5, 1-6, 6-2. Everything came down to court six, where Lyubimova rolled to a 6-0 6-2 win to clinch Stetson's place in the semifinals.
The Highlanders end their first season in A-Sun with a 5-15 mark, earning one win against league foes. Stetson improves to 9-12 and will face No. 2 FGCU Saturday, April 23 at 5 p.m.
A-Sun Championship First Round Results
No. 3 Stetson vs. No. 6 NJIT
Apr 22, 2015 at Spartanburg, S.C.
(USC Upstate Tennis Complex)
No. 3 Stetson 4, No. 6 NJIT 3
1. Eveline Lepinay (STET) def. Rafaella Sampaio (NJIT) 6-4, 2-6, 6-1
2. Arijana Korac (STET) def. Nathalie Habegger (NJIT) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
3. Alba Rosas Garcia (NJIT) def. Maja Salibasic (STET) 7-5, 1-6, 6-2
4. Carolina Meregalli (STET) def. Ines Vujkovac (NJIT) 6-0, 6-2
5. Amanda Helminsky (NJIT) def. Ashley Dean (STET) 6-0, 6-2
6. Alexandra Lyubimova (STET) def. Marija Tosic (NJIT) 6-0, 6-2
1. Nathalie Habegger/Alba Rosas Garcia (NJIT) def. Arijana Korac/Isabela Fernandez (STET) 6-2
2. Rafaella Sampaio/Amanda Helminsky (NJIT) def. Alexandra Lyubimova/Maja Salibasic (STET) 6-2
3. Eveline Lepinay/Ashley Dean (STET) def. Ines Vujkovac/Marija Tosic (NJIT) 6-3
No. 3 Stetson 9-12
No. 6 NJIT 5-15
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (4,1,2,3)