COLUMBUS, GA – Tenth-ranked and third-seeded Francis Marion University swept all three doubles matches and then got singles victories from junior Kimberley Hurter and freshman Lena Specht to complete a 5-0 win over 45th-ranked and sixth-seeded Erskine College, Sunday afternoon (April 28) in the semifinals of the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Women's Tennis Tournament.
The Patriots advance to the regional final where they will play host Columbus State University on Monday at 2 p.m. at the Mary V. Blackmon Tennis Center. The winner advances to the Sweet 16 National Championships, May 8-11, at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex in Surprise, Ariz.
CSU, ranked sixth and seeded second, defeated 49th-ranked and seventh-seeded Wingate University 5-0 in Sunday's first semifinal.
FMU, which has equaled the school record for wins in a season with its 23-3 mark, earned all three doubles points in order. The No.1 duo of Mona Blauen and Julia Graf, ranked 18th nationally, won by an 8-4 decision, while the No.2 tandem of Tereza Baranova and Nora Westbye grabbed an 8-2 victory. The third match took a little longer, but Hurter and Specht eventually claimed an 8-3 win.
Specht, the Peach Belt Conference's Freshman of the Year, then quickly dispatched Erskine's Victoria Stephens 6-0, 6-0 at No.5 singles to improve to 20-1 on the season. Hurter followed with the match-clinching point, a 6-2, 6-2 victory at the No.4 singles position.
The Patriots were also leading in two of the remaining matches when the deciding point was earned.
This marks the second consecutive year, and fifth time in the past six seasons, the Patriots have reached the regional final.
The previous record for wins in a season was set by the 23-3 Patriot team that advanced to the Elite Eight of the 2008 NCAA Tournament.
NCAA Tournament SE Regional Semifinal Women's Tennis Match Results Apr 28, 2013 at Columbus, GA #10 Francis Marion University 5, #45 Erskine 0 Singles competition 1. #20 Mona Blauen (FMU_W) vs. Corin Hallman (ECW2013) 5-7, unfinished 2. Tereza Baranova (FMU_W) vs. Miranda Guthrie (ECW2013) 7-5, 2-1, unfinished 3. Julia Graf (FMU_W) vs. Abby O'Reilly (ECW2013) 7-5, 1-2, unfinished 4. Kimberley Hurter (FMU_W) def. Mika Goyette (ECW2013) 6-2, 6-2 5. Lena Specht (FMU_W) def. Victoria Stephens (ECW2013) 6-0, 6-0 6. Nora Westbye (FMU_W) vs. Sarah McDonald (ECW2013) 4-6, 4-3, unfinished Doubles competition 1. #18 Mona Blauen/Julia Graf (FMU_W) def. Corin Hallman/Mika Goyette (ECW2013) 8-4 2. Tereza Baranova/Nora Westbye (FMU_W) def. Miranda Guthrie/Sarah McDonald (ECW2013) 8-2 3. Kimberley Hurter/Lena Specht (FMU_W) def. Abby O'Reilly/Victoria Stephens (ECW2013) 8-3 Match Notes: Erskine 18-6; National ranking #45; Regional ranking #7 Francis Marion University 23-3; National ranking #10; Regional ranking #3 Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (5,4) T-2:48