ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. — Southeastern scored its first-ever win at the National Finals on Wednesday when the Savage Storm downed New York Institute of Technology 5-2 in the round of 16.
The win moves SE to 21-2 overall on the year and sets them up for a national quarterfinal appearance at 8 a.m. this morning against either St. Mary’s or Hawaii Pacific.
The Storm came out of doubles with a 2-1 advantage, with the duo of Maria Martinez and Luisa Auffarth cruising to an 8-1 victory at three doubles to score the match’s first point.
Anna Buiukian and Samantha Coquinos followed suit with an 8-4 win at No. 2 to make the edge 2-0, but an NYIT win at the one spot would leave the SE lead at 2-1.
Auffarth struck first in singles play by downing Rosa LaCorte by scores of 6-0, 6-0 at the six position, giving the Storm a 3-1 lead.
Martinez finished hot on her heels to put SE in front 4-1 with a 6-0, 6-1 win at No. 5 over Antonella Lopez.
NYIT responded with a win at No. 4 where Darija Catipovic fell in straight sets to Paulina Velasquez.
Buiukian clinched the first-round matchup with a 6-4, 6-2 victory at No. 2 over Karolina Pondusova.
Southeastern women’s tennis coach Shawn Hamil has been named the ITA Central Region Coach of the Year after guiding the squad to the NCAA Division II National Finals.
Hamil took over the reins of the women’s tennis program in 2012 and over the last three seasons has led the squad to a pair of Great American Conference championships and a 17-2 mark in league play, including an undefeated season in 2017.
The 2017 edition has piled up a 20-2 record overall on the year and won 15 matches in a row while plowing through to a GAC regular season and tournament title which was followed by the team’s first berth in the NCAA National Finals.
Hamil was also named the Great American Conference Coach of the Year in women’s tennis.