BEAUMONT, Texas - The McNeese Cowgirl tennis squad made history on Sunday as they defeated Northwestern State 4-1 to secure their first Southland Conference tournament championship and first ever NCAA tournament berth.
The NCAA will announce the brackets and seeding live on May 1 at 4 p.m. during their live selection show which can be found at ncaa.com.
The Cowgirls (18-3) dominated the courts early against the Demons (16-9) in doubles action.
At the number three line Phonexay Chitdara and Charoline Erlandsson didn't hold back as they defeated the duo of Emilija Dancetovic and Ela Iwaniuk 6-2 to give the Cowgirls an early lead for the doubles point.
Cowgirls Giovanna Fioretti and Marija Mastilovic would finish next at the number two position. The Cowgirl duo defeated Kateryna Avram and Judit Castillo 6-4 to secure the doubles point for McNeese.
Sarah Jurakova and Hannah Brett ended their match against Polina Ivanova and Polina Mutel with no result.
In singles action the Cowgirls would take a quick lead taking four of the six first sets.
First to finish and playing at the number two line Jurakova would fall to the Demon's Ivanova in straight sets 6-2, 6-1 to give the Demons their only point of the day.
At the number six position McNeese's Chitdara dominated her Demon counterpart Avram, beating her in straight sets 6-3, 6-1 to give the Cowgirls a 2-1 lead.
Erlandsson would be the next Cowgirl to come out on top as she defeated Castillo in straight sets 6-4, 6-2 to extend the Cowgirls lead to 3-1.
Needing only one more point to take the match McNeese's Fioretti handled the pressure. Fioretti defeated Southland Conference Women's Tennis Player of the Year, Mutel, in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 at the number one line to lift McNeese to its first ever conference tournament championship and berth in the NCAA tournament.
"When we got together in September we said look, this is how we win," said McNeese head coach Helena Besovic. "It's not about when the tournament comes it's about every day in practice, bringing it in and working hard every day. We've worked very hard to get to this point and I couldn't be more proud of the team."
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