MT. PLEASANT, S.C. - Top-seeded College of Charleston defeated third-seeded Furman 4-0 on Sunday afternoon to capture the team's second straight Southern Conference Women's Tennis Championship.
The Cougars improve to 20-9 on the season and earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals.
The match started with singles competition as a result of anticipated bad weather. CofC won five of six first sets. Junior Kinsey Casey (Alpharetta, Ga./Northview) put the Cougars on the board with a 6-2, 6-0 victory at the No. 4 spot. She has won her last six singles matches for the longest active win streak on the team.
Senior Laura Borza (Toronto, Ontario/St. Mary's Secondary) cruised to a 6-0 victory in the first set at the No. 5 spot. Paladins' Susan Bitetti rallied and the two traded points in the second set before tying at three all. Borza won the next three games to finish the set with 6-3 victory.
Junior Emma Hayman (Wanganui, New Zealand/New Mexico) increased the Cougars' lead to 3-0 with a 6-2, 6-1 over Lauren Kline at the No. 2 spot. Her win is the 11th at No. 2 singles for College of Charleston.
With the deciding point on the line, three singles matches remained. Sophomore Caroline Newman (Greensboro, N.C./Page) was tied with Jessica Preeg at four all at the No. 3 spot after having won the first set, 6-0. Meanwhile, junior Keely Mulligan (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) held a 5-3 edge over sixth-seeded Jennifer Betts in the second set after having claimed the first set, 6-3. Senior Holly Dowse (Tuncurry, Australia/Forster) held a 4-1 advantage over Monica Arguello after having fallen 7-5 in the first set at the No. 1 spot.
Mulligan clinched the match and the SoCon championship for the Cougars to finish the day with a 6-3, 6-3 victory to move to 12-5 on the year.
Casey was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. She finished the weekend 2-0 in singles and 1-0 in doubles competition as CofC held two opponents scoreless.
Charleston finished the year 2-0 in crucial matches against Furman. The Cougars defeated the Paladins 4-3 on Apr. 7 to earn the No. 1 seed in the SoCon Championships. It is also the second year that CofC has had to defeat Furman to win the SoCon Championship.
Head coach Angelo Anastopoulo and the team will wait to find out where they will compete in the NCAA Regionals on May 14-15.
1. Holly Dowse (CofC) vs. Monica Arguello (FUR) 5-7, 4-1 unfinished
2. Emma Hayman (CofC) def. Lauren Kline (FUR) 6-2, 6-1
3. Caroline Newman (CofC) vs. Jessica Preeg (FUR) 6-0, 5-4 unfinished
4. Kinsey Casey (CofC) def. Michele Stanford (FUR) 6-2, 6-0
5. Laura Borza (CofC) def. Susan Bitetti (FUR) 6-1, 6-3
6. Keely Mulligan (CofC) def. Jennifer Betts (FUR) 6-3, 6-3