From Staff Reports
The Clayton State tennis team advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 for just the second time in school history,
Playing host to Peach Belt Conference rival Columbus in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional, Clayton State came away with a thrilling 5-2 victory at Laker Courts.
The victory was the seventh victory in the last eight matches for 10th-ranked Clayton State, now 18-7 overall.
The last time the Laker tennis program made it this far was in 2002.
Now, the Lakers meet BYU-Hawill on Wednesday in Altamonte, Fla.
Clayton State gained some early momentum with a sweep in the doubles matches. Viktoriya Semyrodenko and Ivana Krommelova cruised to an 8-3 victory over Columbus State's Loriane Favoretto and Hanane Toumi, while both Katie White and Marie Cercellietti (No. 2) and Evelin Csizi and Jessica Budd (No. 3) both won 8-6 thrillers. White and Cercelletti edged the Lady Cougar team of Tracy Castillo and Sofia Persson, while Budd and Csizi rallied past Columbus State's Gabriela Vasilescu and Caterina Kiefer.
In singles, White quickly knocked off Favoretto 6-0, 6-3 at No. 1 for the Lakers, followed by a thrilling 6-4, 6-4 victory at No. 3 by Krommelova against Toumi.
Columbus State's two victories in singles were by Kiefer at No. 4 and Vasilescu at No. 5.
This is the second time this year CSU abd BYU-Hawaii have battled it out on the tennis courts.
During a spring break trip to the islands, the Lakers lost to BYU-Hawaill 7-2.
"I am really proud of the girls," CSU coach Tamas Szab aldos said.
"They have worked really hard to get to this point.
It wasn't easy, and they are very happy to represent our school."
BYU-Hawaill comes into the event with history on its side.
The Seasiders have won nine national titles since the 1996-97 season.