LAKE CHARLES – The McNeese tennis squad swept Southland Conference foe Nicholls on Sunday to secure at least a share of its first Southland Conference Championship in program history. The victory also clinched the overall number one seed going into the Southland Conference tournament which will be played April 27-29 in Beaumont.
McNeese, who ended the regular season with a 15-3 overall record, posted a 10-1 league mark and matching the most conference wins in a season for the Cowgirls since 2014 when McNeese finished one game out of first place.
McNeese wasted no time setting the tempo of the match against Nicholls (11-10, 2-8 SLC) in doubles play.
Starting the day for the Cowgirls Giovanna Fioretti and Marija Mastilovic defeated the Colonel duo of Mariia Kozachok and Marina Vigil 6-2 to secure an early Cowgirl lead.
In the number three position, Charoline Erlandsson and Phonexay Chitdara would secure the doubles point with a 6-2 victory over Changwei Wei and Anastasia Kuzevanova.
Seniors Sarah Jurakova and Hannah Brett faced Stephanie Barnett and Lingfeng Gu in a match that ended with no result.
In singles action five of the six Cowgirl netters won their matches in straight sets.
In the number three spot Brett went on to defeat Kozachok 6-1, 6-2 to secure the Cowgirls second point of the day.
Finishing next in the number six spot Chitdara would blank her Colonel counterpart Wei winning both sets by a score of 6-0.
In the number five spot, Nicholls' Kuzevanova would be no match for McNeese's Erlandsson. Erlandsson would defeat her opponent 6-2, 6-3 to secure the team victory for the Cowgirls.
At the number two position, Jurakova would triumph over Gu 6-1, 6-4. With the victory, Jurakova finished the season with a perfect 11-0 mark in conference play.
Finishing fifth at the number one position Fioretti would drop her first set to Colonel Barnett 1-6 before taking the second set 6-3. In the final set Fioretti would battle fiercely to win the match 12-10.
Closing out the day for McNeese, Mastilovic defeated Vigil by a score of 6-4 in straight sets to secure the match sweep.
"Today was a special day for us," said head coach Helena Besovic. "We honored Sarah and Hannah, our two seniors, and closed the regular season in a very strong manner. I couldn't be more proud of our team and everything we have accomplished so far."
The Cowgirls can claim the conference championship outright if Texas A&M-Corpus Christi loses one of its two remaining matches.
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