BOX SCORE | HIGHLIGHTS
– For the first time in program history, McNeese’s women’s tennis is the Southland Conference Tournament Champion.
The top-seeded Cowgirls defeated No. 3 Northwestern State 4-1 on Sunday to lift the 2018 Southland Women’s Tennis Tournament Championship at the Beaumont Tennis Municipal Center in Beaumont, Texas.
Junior Giovanna Fioretti slammed the final point past Northwestern State’s Polina Mutel to close the top-line match 6-4, 6-1 and punch the Cowgirls’ ticket to the NCAA Tournament. Fioretti earned the point after the Cowgirls had clinched points at the bottom two lines.
The Lady Demons had gotten back in the match after trailing 1-0 following the doubles point. NSU’s Polina Ivanova handled the Cowgirls’ Sarah Jurakova at the No. 2 line 6-2, 6-1 to even the score at one apiece early, but it was the play at the No. 5 and No. 6 lines that pushed the Cowgirls to the tournament victory.
McNeese went ahead 2-1 when Phonexay Chitdara defeated Kateryna Avram 6-3, 6-1 at the No. 6 flight. She turned to court five to see teammate Charoline Erlandsson put away Judit Castillo 6-4, 6-2 just three minutes later.
It looked as if Hannah Brett was going to clinch the victory for the Cowgirls at the No. 3 line, contesting Emilija Dancetovic in a tight battle in the third set. The two had split the first two sets 6-1 each way and Brett was leading 5-4 when Fioretti registered the fourth and final team point for McNeese.
The 2018 NCAA Selection Show is set for Tuesday at 4 p.m. CT on NCAA.com. The Cowgirls are making its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament.