UM tennis clinches first PBC tourney berth
FROM STAFF REPORTS
The University of Montevallo women’s tennis team clinched its first ever berth in the Peach Belt Conference tournament despite a 5-4 loss to the University of North Georgia in its final regular season match April 13.
With USC Aiken’s back-to-back losses against Georgia College and Armstrong Atlantic State this weekend, the regionally-ranked Falcons (9-8 overall, 6-7 in Peach Belt Conference) have secured a spot in the tournament due to a tie-breaking advantage over the Pacers with a 5-4 win in the head-to-head meeting between the two teams earlier this season.
The Falcons also own the advantage in a potential three-way tie with both USC Aiken and GRU Augusta in a scenario that measures the teams’ results against the higher seeds in the conference due to their 5-4 win over Lander University earlier this season. All three teams dropped their matches against the top five seeds in the tournament, but the Falcons won their match against the Bearcats while both the Pacers and the Jaguars dropped their matches against No. 6 seed Lander.
Montevallo, ranked No. 9 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) NCAA Division II Southeast Region rankings, can clinch the No. 7 seed in the eight-team tournament with a GRU Augusta loss to Georgia Southwestern in the Jaguars’ final regular season match April 14.
The Peach Belt Conference tournament quarterfinals are set for Thursday, April 17 at the Dr. Eddie Floyd Tennis Center in Florence, S.C.
The Falcons won three singles matches and one doubles match against the Nighthawks.
Junior Niki Polcerova, ranked No. 11 in the latest ITA NCAA Division II Southeast Region singles rankings, capped the regular season with a 13-2 record in individual matches following her 6-1, 6-1 win over Cameron Williams of North Georgia in the No. 1 singles match.
Junior Anais Robert topped the Nighthawks’ Mathilde Baartvedt 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the No. 3 singles match. Sophomore Juanita Ossa defeated Alexis Lee of North Georgia 6-4, 6-1 in the No. 6 singles match.
Senior Haley Highfield and sophomore Allison Howell defeated the Nighthawks’ Adalyn Hazelman and Williams 8-5 in the No. 2 doubles match.
Junior Liucija Smaizyte fell to Natalia Escobar of North Georgia 6-4, 6-4 in the No. 2 singles match. Howell dropped the No. 4 singles match against Hazelman by a score of 6-4, 6-1.
Highfield fell to the Nighthawks’ Mallory Kolts 6-2, 6-0 in the No. 5 singles match.
Polcerova and Robert fell to Escobar and Baartvedt 8-4 in the No. 1 doubles match. Smaizyte and Ossa dropped the No. 3 doubles match against Audrey Marlette and Nela Handac of North Georgia by a score of 8-4.