CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (April 20, 2023) – The ETSU women’s tennis team entered the 2023 Southern Conference Championship with one goal in mind — winning a conference championship — and moved one step closer to that goal with a 4-0 win over No. 7 seed Western Carolina in the quarterfinal round at Champions Club in Chattanooga.
The No. 2 seeded Bucs will face No. 6 seed Wofford in the semifinal round tomorrow at 2 p.m. Wofford defeated No. 3 Samford with a thrilling 4-3 victory during the last match of the day, ending with a 7-6 win in the final set on the final court.
With six matches completed earlier in the day, the Bucs and Catamounts women’s teams were among the last to take the court on Thursday. This did not slow down the Blue & Gold, as ETSU made quick work of its rival from across the mountain.
The Bucs took the doubles point to start things off with mirroring 6-1 wins on Court 2 and Court 3. Fresh off their first team all-conference selection yesterday, the duo of Daniela Rivera (Maturin, Venzuela) and Maria Fernanda Carvajal (Queretaro, Mexico) won first over SoCon Freshman of the Year Isabella Sambola and teammate Chloe Schwarz.
Right behind Carvajal and Rivera at No. 3 doubles was Emilia Alfaro (Azul, Argentina) and Ralitsa Alexandrova (Sofia, Bulgaria) taking down Jade Groen and Andrea Redondo by a 6-1 final. Alfaro and Alexandrova’s win over the second team all-conference pair from WCU clinched the doubles point.
In singles, ETSU clinched the match in the bottom three flights. Rivera started things with a 6-0 sweep in the first set against Redondo, then won by retirement to make it 2-0 in favor of the Bucs. After that, Yunuen Elizarraras (Cuernavaca, Mexico) won by a 6-1, 7-5 final on Court 6 to force match point. Finishing the job was Alexandrova on Court 5, winning 6-4 in the first set and completing a 6-0 sweep in the second frame to end it.
The other three matches went unfinished, though an entertaining battle in the top flight nearly finished the match. SoCon Player of the Year Laylo Bakhodirova (Tashkent, Uzbekistan) represented ETSU well against Sambola, winning 6-2 in the first set and leading 5-3 in the second frame before Alexandrova clinched on her court. Alfaro also had a 7-5, 3-2 lead in the third flight.
The winner of No. 2 ETSU and No. 6 Wofford will advance to the SoCon championship final on Saturday at 1 p.m. The other semifinal includes No. 1 Furman and No. 4 Mercer.
For more information on this weekend’s tournament, including the bracket, live stats, photos, directions to the Champions Club, tournament history and much more, click here.
For the latest information on Buccaneer women’s tennis, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s tennis page.