GREENWOOD, SC – The 10th-ranked and third-seeded Francis Marion University women's tennis team swept all three doubles matches en route to a 6-0 victory over sixth-seeded USC Aiken, Friday afternoon (April 20) in the quarterfinal round of the Peach Belt Conference Tournament hosted by Lander University.
The Patriot women improve to 17-2 and advance to face seventh-ranked and second-seeded Columbus State University in the semifinal round on Saturday at noon. USCA drops to 13-8.
The seventh-ranked doubles duo of Jitka Gavdunova and Mona Blauen claimed an 8-0 win at the No.1 position, while junior Tereza Baranova and freshman Julia Graf took an 8-3 win at the No.2 spot. Junior Kerry Hall and sophomore Caitlin Siney had a little more trouble at No.3 doubles, but they managed an 8-6 victory.
Gavdunova and Blauen quickly claimed straight-set wins at the top two singles positions, while Graf won 6-1, 6-1 at No.5 singles. The team's lone senior, Gavdunova upped her season record to 17-2 and her career mark to 70-8 with the win, while Blauen has lost only once in singles play this year (18-1). Graf is now 16-2 in singles competition this season.
Facing Columbus State, FMU now has an opportunity to avenge one of its two losses as the Cougars edged Francis Marion 5-4 on March 17 in Columbus, Ga. The outcome of Saturday's match could determine who hosts one of the Southeast Region's NCAA Tournament events.