MANCHESTER, NH – The University of the District of Columbia women's tennis team is headed to the NCAA Tournament Round of 16 in Louisville, KY courtesy of a 5-3 upset over tournament host and No. 2 seed Southern New Hampshire on Sunday, April 29th at The Derryfield School.
The No. 3 seeded Firebirds (17-3), fresh off a grueling, 5-4 quarterfinal win over No. 6 Adelphi that took five hours to complete yesterday, still managed to win two of the three doubles matches and three of the five completed singles matches to secure the victory. Jessica Nunez's 7-5, 6-3 win over Alena Mukdaprakorn at No. 1 singles clinched the historic Firebirds victory. District of Columbia will now be the No. 2 representative from the East Region in the Round of 16, where it will take on the winner of the South #1 portion of the NCAA Tournament bracket at EP Tom Sawyer State Park.
Sofia Leon and Tadai Abilla got UDC started on the right foot with an 8-4 victory at No. 3 doubles for the first point of the match. Then, after the Firebirds' No. 1 duo of Nunez and Maria Vitkina were defeated 8-4, Kristyna Nepivodova and Maxime Duijst came through with a big, 8-4 win at second doubles to send District of Columbia to a 2-1 advantage heading into singles play.
The first three completed singles matches ended nearly simultaneously, with the Penman claiming victories in two of them (No. 6 and 3, respectively). In between those two SNHU victories, however, Leon defeated Samantha Jean, 6-3, 6-2, and thus, the match score was tied, 3-3. Nepivodova, who trailed early on in both of her sets, would then grind out a 7-5, 6-3 win at second singles over Diana Vamvakitis, putting the Firebirds just one win away from clinching the match victory.
With the No. 4 singles match between Duijst and SNHU's Jamie Hann in a tiebreaker set, Nunez completed a 7-5, 6-3 victory at the top singles spot for the fifth and decisive point. A back-and-forth affair in the first set, Nunez was in control most of the way in set two, and eventually came away victorious.