JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Lipscomb Lady Bisons will make their first ever appearance in the semifinals of the Atlantic Sun Tennis Tournament after beating Northern Kentucky 4-0 in the quarterfinals Friday at the North Florida Tennis Complex.
The Lady Bisons took the doubles point with two wins. Deahna Welcher at No. 2, Laura Kent at No. 3 and Dani Kinnen at No. 6 each won their singles matches to ice the match. The remaining singles matches were unfinished.
The Lady Bisons will play No.1 seed North Florida on its home courts Saturday at 10:30 a.m. CT.
“It is our first win ever in the conference tournament,” Lipscomb coach Jamie Aid said. “It is a step forward to be able to play in the semifinals.”
The Lady Bisons lost to North Florida 4-0 at Huston-Marsh-Griffith Stadium March 19, but it was a match that was delayed most of the day by rain and resulted in split play on the court with the men’s teams.
“It will be an interesting match,” Aid said. “We have the mentality of hitting one more ball and breaking teams with that mentality. It is going to be a hard match. Our girls are going to have to be mentally prepared to play three sets.
“There is nothing we are going to change about our tennis when we play North Florida. We are going to try to put a lot of pressure on them. We are going to see some long matches. Hopefully, it will be a competitive match and our girls will fight hard.”
The Lady Bisons jumped out to an early advantage in doubles play on all three courts. Hannah Gamage and Kinnen were the first team to finish their match with an 8-2 win over Sydney Power and Yasmine Xantos of NKU. Jenny Borck and Welcher claimed their doubles match versus Rheanna Morehart and Nicole Soutar by the same score, 8-2, to give Lipscomb the doubles point.
The Lady Bisons did not slow down with the start of singles play. Lipscomb won two first sets by a score of 6-0 and two more by 6-1. Kinnen won the first singles point with back-to-back 6-1 wins at No. 6 over Xantos.
Welcher took advantage of her early lead at No. 2 singles to quickly claim the second set and her match over Power 6-1, 6-2 and brought Lipscomb within one point of winning the match.
With just one more point needed, Kent took control at No. 3. After shutting out Morehart in the first set, Kent closed her match with a 6-1 win in the second set.
“We prepped them for this match,” Aid said. “It was the mentality of going back to 0-0.
“We talked with them extensively about it. They had never been in this situation so it was interesting to see how they would respond to a team they had beaten last week.”
Northern Kentucky falls to 6-15 overall. The Lady Bisons are 13-9.
“We wanted to have the results of a win, but we wanted to be better in playing Northern Kentucky this time around,” Aid said. “The doubles matches took about 30 minutes.
“Our girls went out and did not let up. You see a good illustration of a group of girls who wanted to get it done.”
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No. 5 Northern Kentucky vs No. 4 Lipscomb
April 17, 2015 at Jacksonville, Florida
(UNF Tennis Complex)
No. 4 Lipscomb 4, No. 5 Northern Kentucky 0
1. GAMAGE, Hannah (LIPW) vs. SHANAHAN, Hailey (NKU) 5-7, 1-0, unfinished
2. WELCHER, Deahna (LIPW) def. POWER, Sydney (NKU) 6-1, 6-2
3. KENT, Laura (LIPW) def. MOREHART, Rheanna (NKU) 6-0, 6-1
4. KROMER, Melissa (LIPW) vs. DONAHUE, Danielle (NKU) 6-0, 5-3, unfinished
5. BORCK, Jenny (LIPW) vs. SOUTAR, Nicole (NKU) 6-4, 4-1, unfinished
6. KINNEN, Danielle (LIPW) def. XANTOS, Yasmine (NKU) 6-1, 6-1
1. KROMER, Melissa/KENT, Laura (LIPW) vs. SHANAHAN, Hailey/DONAHUE, Danielle (NKU) 5-2, unfinished
2. BORCK, Jenny/WELCHER, Deahna (LIPW) def. MOREHART, Rheanna/SOUTAR, Nicole (NKU) 8-2
3. GAMAGE, Hannah/KINNEN, Danielle (LIPW) def. POWER, Sydney/XANTOS, Yasmine (NKU) 8-2
The Atlantic Sun media relations department contributed to this report.