The top-seeded College of Charleston women’s tennis team punched its ticket to the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive year by holding off third-seeded Furman, 4-3, in the finals of the 2011 SoCon Women’s Tennis Championship held Saturday at the Champions Club.
The Cougars (21-7) won their 14th consecutive match of the season en route to earning their fourth all-time NCAA berth in program history next to 2003, 2009 and 2010, under three-time SoCon Coach of the Year Angelo Anastopoulo.
“It’s a great feeling to return to the NCAA Tournament,” Anastopoulo said. “That is what practicing, training and playing all season is for – to have a chance to compete at the highest level. To do so three years in a row is something special and a real credit to our team. We have five new players, and to have an opportunity to play in the postseason during your first year, makes it even more special.”
Senior Kinsey Casey outlasted Furman’s Margaret Boyette in a tightly-contested second-set tiebreaker, 6-3, 7-6 (5), to clinch the deciding point against the Paladins (13-11).
“They did a terrific job of fighting today,” Anastopoulo said. “Kinsey Casey and Emma Hayman were down set points, but their senior leadership paid off against two freshmen, to pull off the match for us. Kinsey played with a full-body cramp during the second-set tiebreak, but won her last point with a high-swinging volley for the winner.”
The Cougars earn the league’s automatic NCAA bid and will be one of 64 teams announced live during the 2011 NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Championship bracket selection show on Tuesday, May 3, at 5 p.m. (ET) on ESPNews. College of Charleston will host a watch party in Charleston, which will be announced at a later date.