0

Clayton State advances to NCAA Division II final four

Photo by Heather Middleton

Photo by Heather Middleton

From Staff Reports

With each victory brings a new single-season milestone for the Clayton State Laker women's tennis team.

The Lakers reached yet another milestone on Thursday with a thrilling 5-3 victory over California (Penn.) in the NCAA Division II "Elite Eight" at Sanlando Park. The victory improves the No. 12-ranked Lakers to 18-7 overall, and Clayton State advances to the NCAA Division II "Final Four" for the first time in the history of Laker women's tennis.

Clayton State will square off against No. 3-ranked Lynn in the NCAA Division II semifinals on Friday at 1 p.m. at Sanlando Park. The other semifinal match-up pits No. 2-ranked Barry against No. 4-ranked and three-time defending Division II National Champion Armstrong Atlantic, making it a "Peach Belt-Sunshine State Final Four."

The Lakers opened the match winning two of the three matches in doubles. Katie White and Marie Cercelletti were 8-2 winners over the Vulcans' Anastassiya Zherdeva and Axelle Fernandez at No. 2 doubles. At No. 1, Viktoriya Semyrodenko and Ivana Krommelova also won 8-2 over the Vulcans' Annabel Pieschl and Jade Pondicas.

California (Penn.) took a 3-2 lead, winning the first two matches in singles at No. 5 and No. 6. However, Clayton State evened it up as Cercelletti won a 7-5, 6-3 decision at No. 4 against Zherdeva. Semyrodenko followed with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Pieschl at No. 1. And then it was Krommelova finishing off the match as she won 6-4, 6-2 over the Vulcans' Franziska Steinhardt at No. 3.

CLAYTON STATE 5, CALIFORNIA (Penn.) 3

Singles:

1. Viktoriya Semyrodenko (CLS) d. Annabel Pieschl 7-5, 6-2

2. Katie White (CLS) vs. Jade Pondicas, DNF

3. Ivana Krommelova (CLS) d. Franziska Steinhardt 6-4, 6-2

4. Marie Cercelletti (CLS) d. Anastassiya Zherdeva 7-5, 6-3

5. Axelle Fernandez (CU) d. Martina Dedaj 6-2, 6-2

6. Laurie Navarro (CU) d. Charlotte Fabricius 6-1, 6-0

Doubles:

1. Semyrodenko/Krommelova (CLS) d. Pieschl/Pondicas 8-2

2. White/Cercelletti (CLS) d. Zherdeva/Fernandez 8-2

3. Steinhardt/Navarro (CU) d. Dedaj/Jessica Budd 8-3