TUCSON, AZ --- The ASA Women's Tennis team made history on Thursday by finishing 2nd at the NJCAA National Championships, missing out on the college's first-ever national title by a mere 3.5 points. In the process, the Lady Avengers won three individual National Championships and finished second in three others.
Coming into the final day of Nationals, ASA trailed defending champion Tyler Junior College by 3.5 points (43-39.5). The most direct route to at least a share of the national title - with ASA in six finals, Tyler in seven and the two facing off in four - was to win all six matches. Doing so, and Tyler doing the same, would have given both teams 46 points.
As are things in sports, Day 5 was anything but direct.
Things started off well for ASA as No. 5 1-seed Vlada Rabin defeated St. Petersburg's Melanie Gray in straight sets, 6-1, 6-0 (A: 40.5 / T: 43). Tyler would counter with a win over ASA's No. 4 2-seed Teona Tatishvili, 6-0, 6-0 and ASA would miss a 0.5 point opportunity in the #1 Singles Consolation final (A:40.5 / T: 44). ASA received a major boost from the field as Florida State College (No. 1) and Georgia Perimeter College (No. 2 and No. 3) defeated Tyler opponents. These advantageous results, coupled with ASA No. 6 3-seed Fatima Ouattara winning an epic final against Tyler 1-seed Kerry Wiegand (3-6, 7-5, 6-1), brought ASA to within 2.5 points, 41.5-44, with three doubles finals to go.
ASA would strike first as the #3 duo of Tatishvili and Tamar Tskhakaia took the No. 2 Doubles over Georgia Perimeter, 6-1. 6-4 (A:42.5 / T: 44). Unfortunately, ASA's run would stall at the hands of TJC at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles, locking in the final tally of 46-42.5.
Between ASA's six players, the Lady Avengers will bring home three individual titles, three finalist finishes, 4 First Team All-American honors and 4 Second Team All-American nods - along with the National Runner-Up trophy.
|PLAYER||NC RESULT||ALL-AMERICAN TEAM||EVENT|
|Vlada Rabin||Champion||1st Team||#5 Singles|
|Fatima Ouattara||Champion||1st Team||#6 Singles|
|Tamar Tskhakaia||Champion||1st Team||#2 Doubles|
|Teona Tatishvili||Champion||1st Team||#2 Doubles|
|Dayana Agasieva||Finalist||2nd Team||#1 Doubles|
|Diana Perez||Finalist||2nd Team||#1 Doubles|
|Vlada Rabin||Finalist||2nd Team||#3 Doubles|
|Fatima Ouattara||Finalist||2nd Team||#3 Doubles|
|Teona Tatishvili||Finalist||2nd Team||#4 Singles|