Lady Bucs dominate their way to a share of the A-Sun regular season title dropping USC Upstate, 5-2

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (April 8, 2009) - After falling just short of the Atlantic Sun Conference regular season title to both USC Upstate and Jacksonville last season, the ETSU women's tennis team got sweet revenge Wednesday, earning a share of its third A-Sun title in school history with a convincing 5-2, win over the Spartans at the USC Upstate Tennis Complex in Spartanburg, S.C. The Lady Bucs share the regular season title with Stetson, who finished tied with ETSU at 8-1 in conference play.


"I'm so proud of each girl on our team," said head coach Steve Brooks. "Our players have worked so hard to get to this point in the season, where we had a shot of winning this league. I'm proud to see how our team has came together and prepared to be the best team in the A-Sun. Upstate is very talented and well coached and I knew coming into this match we were going to have to play to our potential in order to be succesful. Today I thought each girl gave one of our most complete performances we have had this spring. Our players came out with a lot of enthusiasm and really got after it from the start. We now have a couple of non-conference matches left, but I'm pleased of how this team is playing its best tennis, at the right time, as the conference tournament gets closer."


As play opened the Lady Bucs rolled past the Spartans early sweeping all three doubles matches. Junior Yevgenyia Stupak (Kyiv, Ukraine) and freshman Paula Jaime (Madrid, Spain) teamed up to dominate Anna Novo and Cinthya Lazaro, 8-3, while senior Tara Byrne (Johnson City) and freshman Karina Kedzo (Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela), made quick work of Milovanovic and Bello 8-3 in No. 2 action. Even with the point in hand the Lady Bucs continued to play well as sophomore Tara Sheets (Gate City, Va.) and senior Vita Moskaliova (Minsk, Belarus) closed out doubles play with an 8-5 win over Daniela Lovera and Ana-Sofia Camberos at No. 3.


As singles play got underway newcomer Paula Jaime pushed her A-Sun record to 8-0 after dropping Emilia Milovanovic in No. 3 action 6-4, 6-1, while teammate Tara Byrne moved one win away from breaking ETSU's all-time wins record after breezing past Bello in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3.


After both Vita  Moskaliova and Tara Sheets dropped their matches all eyes turned to center court as No. 109-ranked Stupak took on four-time A-Sun Player of the Week Anna Novo. In their two previous meetings both A-Sun players split with Novo winning last spring and Stupak picking up a straight set win in the fall. As play started the ETSU captain looked strong rushing out to a commanding 3-0 lead, taking the first set 6-3. After Novo struggled to find any type of rhythm, Stupak closed out the match in strong fashion dominating her way to a 6-4 second set win over the reigning A-Sun Player of the Year.


Now with the share of the regular season title locked up freshman Karina Kedzo continued her hot play with a thrilling three-set comeback win over Daneila Lovera, 6-0, 4-6, 10-3.


With the win the Lady Bucs earned the second-seed in the upcoming A-Sun tournament, which will be held at the Buddy Hartsell Tennis Center on the ETSU campus April 16-18. Even with a split regular season title Stetson earned the top-spot after holding the tie-breaker with ETSU with its 4-3, win over the Lady Bucs last week.


The Lady Bucs will now have a quick turn around as they take on both Wofford and UNCA this Friday at the Buddy Hartsell Tennis Center in Johnson City.


For more information on the ETSU women's tennis program please visit

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