May 8, 2013

National Championship In Sight For Women's Tennis After Day 4 of Nationals

TUCSON, AZ --- After four days of grueling competition, ASA Women's Tennis finds itself in a position no other Avengers program has been in - one game day away from a National Championship.

The Lady Avengers went 7-2 in semifinals on Day 4 of the NJCAA Women's Tennis National Championships and maintained their 2nd place position in the standings. ASA has scored 39.5 points and only trail defending champion Tyler Junior College's 43 points.

On the final day of action, ASA will compete in 6 National Championship finals and 1 Back Draw Final, while Tyler will play in 7 Championship finals. The Lady Avengers and Apaches go head-to-head in four finals, which sets up the most straightforward scenario for ASA:

Win out and bring at least a share of the school's first National Championship home to Brooklyn.

It would be a crowning moment for the small college that began NJCAA athletics only five years ago.

No matter the outcome, ASA is guaranteed at least 2nd Place in the tournament.

Solid performance on Wednesday put ASA in position for Thursday's historical day.

The bottom half of the ASA Singles contingent advanced with strong overall play. No. 4 2-seed Teona Tatishvili won her match over 3-seed Chelsea Smithback of St. Petersburg College, 6-2, 6-0, while No. 6 3-seed Fatima Ouattara took out 2-seed Alexa Brandalik of Florida State College, 6-0, 6-1.

At No. 5 Singles, 1-seed Vlada Rabin found herself in a battle with Tyler's 4-seed Kirsten Pierce. Trailing 2-0 in the first set, Rabin worked her way to a 5-4 lead, only to drop the next game. However, with the score tied at 5-5, Rabin would win the next pair of games to take the first set, 7-5. The confidence of winning that set propelled Rabin to a more comfortable 6-2 victory in the second set.

In the No. 1 Back Draw, Dayana Agasieva survived a rally from Moraine Valley's Nicole Selvaggio to win the game 8-6 and advance to the final.

ASA's only blemishes on the day came in losses at No. 2 and No. 3 singles.

Doubles were much more eventful for the Lady Avengers.

The 2-seed duo of Dayana Agasieva & Diana Perez defeated 3-seed Collin's group of Gilson & Wessel at No. 1 Doubles, 6-3, 6-4. However, the other two matches would not be as conventional.

At No. 2, 3-seed Tatishvili & Tamar Tskhakaia went back and forth with 2-seed Tyler's duo of Pierce & Enderica. ASA handled the first set, 6-4, but found themself down 3-0 in the second set and looking for answers. What resulted was a furious comeback that pushed the game to 6-6, where ASA's pair put the Apaches away.'

The No. 3 Doubles matchup between ASA 2-seed Ouattara & Rabin and Collin's 5-seed Clark sisters. ASA would give up the first set, 3-6, and struggled to maintain control of the match early in the second before pulling away to take the set 6-3. The third set was just as tough as the first two but ASA was not to be denied and scored a 7-5 victory to take the match.