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SWEET 16! Clayton State downs Columbus State in NCAA Division II

Photo by Heather Middleton

Photo by Heather Middleton

From Staff Reports

No. 12-ranked Lakers return to "Sweet 16" for second straight season

COLUMBUS, Ga. - It's back to the NCAA Division II "Sweet 16" for the Clayton State Laker women's tennis team!

For the second straight season, the No. 12-ranked Lakers (16-7) are moving on in the NCAA Division II National Tournament as they pulled off an impressive 5-2 victory over No. 8 Columbus State (17-6) in the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional on Tuesday at Columbus State. This is the second straight "Sweet 16" appearance for Clayton State, and the third in program history.

The Clayton State women's tennis team is the third Clayton State team this season to advance to the NCAA Division II "Sweet 16," joining both men's soccer and women's basketball. The Lakers will play in the "Sweet 16" starting next Wednesday (May 11) in Altamonte Springs, Fla.

The Lakers got off to a fast start by sweeping the three doubles matches.

Martina Dedaj and Jessica Budd got it rolling for Clayton State at No. 3 with an 8-2 victory over Columbus State's Renata Paiva and Andrea Redrado. That was followed by Katie White and Marie Cercelletti earning an 8-4 decision at No. 2 over the Lady Cougars' Tracy Castillo and Olivera Jokic. Viktoriya Semyrodenko and Ivana Krommelova finished the sweep at No. 1 with an 8-6 triumph over Loriane Favoretto and Madeline Johnson from Columbus State.

Ahead 3-0, the Lakers needed only two victories in singles to clinch. After White dropped a 6-3, 6-1 decision against Favoretto at No. 2, Semyrodenko gave Clayton State a 4-1 lead with a 6-2, 6-2 victory at No. 1 against Castillo. Columbus State gained another singles point as Jokic defeated the Lakers' Martina Dedaj 6-1, 6-4 at No. 5, but Cercelletti provided the clincher for the Lakers with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Redrado at No. 4.

CLAYTON STATE 5, COLUMBUS STATE 2

Singles:

1. Viktoriya Semyrodenko (CLS) d. Tracy Castillo 6-2, 6-2

2. Loriane Favoretto (CS) d. Katie White 6-3, 6-1

3. Ivana Krommelova (CLS) vs. Madeline Johnson, DNF

4. Marie Cercelletti (CLS) d. Andrea Redrado 6-1, 6-4

5. Olivera Jokic (CS) d. Martina Dedaj 6-1, 6-4

6. Charlotte Fabricius (CLS) vs. Renata Paiva, DNF

Doubles:

1. Semyrodenko/Krommelova (CLS) d. Favoretto/Johnson 8-6

2. White/Cercelletti (CLS) d. Castillo/Jokic 8-4

3. Dedaj/Jessica Budd (CLS) d. Redrado/Paiva 8-2

--CSU--