By Joshua Laska – Sports/Managing Editor
The eighth ranked Vulcan tennis team came away with two victories last weekend in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. They first defeated Winston-Salem State 5-0 followed by Shaw 5-0. The Vulcans are now 23-5 on the season and will go on to face the winner of the Southwest Baptist (Mo.) – Cameron (Ok.) match on May 16 at 11 a.m.
The Vulcans defeated Winston-Salem State first with the fifth ranked double team of senior Martina Rubesova and classmate Franziska Steinhardt defeating Bianka Locklear and Kalin Jarvis, 8-1. In the second doubles position, the team of freshman Ramona Czakon and senior Anastassiya Zherdeva defeated Sloane Holmes and Kayla Carter, 8-5. Freshman Jolien Borrenberghs and junior Jade Pondicas defeated Taylor Harris and Dominique Lindsay, in the third position, 8-1.
In singles, the fourth position and fifth position were all that were needed to win the match. Steinhardt defeated Jarvis 6-1 and 6-1, while Czakon defeated Lindsay 6-0 and 6-0. 12th ranked Rubesova was up one set when the match was called, Zherdeva was also up one set. 42nd Pondicas and Borrenberghs were both up one set as well, with Borrenberghs two points away from defeating Harris.
Against Shaw, fifth ranked team of Rubesova and Steinhardt defeated Lolia Kienka and Jessica Median, 8-3. In the second doubles position, Czakon and Zherdeva defeated Aline Ferreira and Vimbai Mawisire, 8-1. Borrenberghs and Pondicas defeated Claudia Silva and Gislaine Farias, in the third position, 9-8 (7-5).
12th ranked Rubesova defeated Lolia in the first singles position 6-1 and 6-1. Czakon picked up her 26th victory of the season over Ferreira 6-2 and 6-2, to clinch the victory for the Vulcans. Zherdeva, 42nd ranked Pondicas and Borrenberghs were all down one set each when the match was called. Steinhardt was up one set and two points away from picking up the victory over Mawisire.
The Vulcans now look forward to the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament. The Vulcans are still looking for their illusive first NCAA Championship; the National Championship will be played in Louisville, Ky. on May 19.