WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - No. 2 Charleston Southern topped No. 7 Presbyterian, 4-0, on Friday morning in the 2017 Big South Women's Tennis Championship Quarterfinal Round behind strong doubles play and three straight-set wins in singles action.
The Buccaneers (16-2) advance to the Big South semifinal round for the sixth consecutive season following their win over the Blue Hose (12-11). CSU will face No. 3 Liberty in Saturday's semifinal round. First serve between the Bucs and the Flames is set for 9 a.m. at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex.
CSU topped the Blue Hose earlier in the season with the Bucs recording the 7-0 win over PC on March 29 at the Buccaneer Tennis Complex. In the match, CSU took two of the three doubles courts and won all six singles matches in straight sets.
Friday morning's contest followed in a similar fashion as CSU picked up wins on the top two doubles courts behind the play of All-Conference tandems Sophie Cloessner and Nicolin Luecke. Cloessner, Mi'Kola Cooper and Valeria Koussenkova sealed the CSU match with straight set wins on courts 2, 3, & 5 to close out the Bucs' win.
Luecke and Cloessner took the opening win for the Bucs on doubles court no. 1 with a 6-0 win over PC's Tracy Johnson and Nicole Croxton. Cooper and Koussenkova secured the CSU win with a 6-2 victory over Caroline Ferrari and Demi Henschel on court no. 2.
Cloessner was first off the court in singles competition as the two-time First Team All-Conference selection topped PC's Taylor on court no. 2, 6-0, 6-1, to give CSU the 2-0 advantage.
Koussenkova topped Croxton on court no. 5, 6-2, 6-1, to give CSU the 3-0 lead. Cooper closed out the match and halted play on all courts with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Ferrari on court no. 3.
At the time play was halted, Luecke was ahead of PC's Johnson on court no. 1, 6-2, 4-3, while Morar had a 6-4, 2-1 lead over Katie Thompson on court no. 6.
Nuttall was leading CSU's Kimberley Koerner on court no. 4, 6-3, 2-3 on court no. 4.
How Liberty Got There
The No. 3 Flames advanced to the semifinals courtesy of a 4-1 win over No. 6 Campbell on Friday afternoon. Liberty entered the Big South Championships coming off of a regular season finale 4-3 win over Charleston Southern that put CSU, Liberty, and Winthrop in a three-way tie for the conference regular-season championship.
Liberty advances with 4-1 win over Campbell
The Flames took the doubles point against the Camels and then picked up singles wins on courts 2, 4, & 5, to top Campbell for the second time in the 2017 season. Liberty's lone loss came on court no. 1 as Campbell's Alexandra Andrivot topped Rebekah Anderson, 7-5, 6-2.
Streak comes to an end as CSU falls on the road to Liberty, 4-3
Charleston Southern's 14-match winning streak came to an end on April 14 as the Buccaneers fell to host Liberty at the Cook Tennis Center, 4-3. The Bucs fell for the first time since their season-opening match on February 9 against UNC Wilmington. Liberty took the doubles point and singles wins on courts 2, 3, and 6, to complete the win.
Mariely Hassey leads Liberty with a 19-11 record in the 2017 season lining up primarily on courts 4-6. Evangeline Crist and Emily Groeneveld both have posted 17 wins on the year, while Anna Dollar has posted a 15-11 record. Eugenia Camacho paced the Flames with an 8-0 record in conference play on the year. All three Liberty doubles teams recorded double-digit wins led by Crist and Dollar's 17 win performance coming primarily on court no. 2.
Scouting the Bucs
Five different Buccaneers have posted double-digit singles wins on the season as Mi'Kola Cooper joined the Bucs with her 10th win courtesy of her 6-2, 6-1 win on court no. 3. Sophie Cloessner leads CSU with a 16-2 overall record on the season lining up primarily on court no. 2. Kimberley Koerner (15-2), Valeria Koussenkova (14-2), and Yana Morar (12-4) also have double-digit wins for the Bucs in 2017. In doubles play, the tandem of Cloessner and Luecke led the Bucs with an 11-7 record.