ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Charleston Southern is NCAA Tournament-bound as the top-seeded Buccaneers defeated No. 2 Coastal Carolina on Saturday afternoon in the 2015 Big South Women's Tennis Championship match, 4-0.
Senior Marketa Placha, the Big South Player of the Year, capped off the CSU sweep over the Chanticleers with a straight set 6-4, 6-0 win on court no. 1, avenging her only dual match of the regular season over CCU's Libby Scott to start the celebration at the Asheville Racquet Club.
CSU head coach Mike Baker had nothing but positive words to say about the Bucs effort all throughout the weekend.
"This team worked so hard, it is emotional," Baker commented. "We have been going after this for about 10 years now. It is not just about this team, it is about the teams in the past too. A lot of blood and sweat have gone into this. This is an unbelievable team, I am so proud of these girls and the girls in the past. All that work has lead up to us winning it today."
The Bucs had been runners-up in the past two Big South Championship tournament finales, falling in the championship match to Winthrop in both 2013 and 2014. This time, the Bucs utilized leadership from their 2015 senior class in getting the job done.
Placha was mobbed by fellow seniors Yvonne Hubler and Angelica Sidorenko in the pile as the senior trio proved responsible for all three singles points, sweeping their opponents on courts 1, 2 and 3, in clinching the Bucs first NCAA playoff berth in program history.
"We have been so close, so many times," Baker said. "It is always the toughest to do it the first time and now these girls have paved the way for the next group that is going to come in."
The win, CSU's program-record 18th, propels the Buccaneers into the 2015 NCAA Tournament. First round play is set for May 14 at sites still to be determined. The 2015 NCAA Women's Tennis Tournament Championship will be held on May 25 at the Hurd Tennis Center in Waco, Texas.
The Bucs and Chants faced off against each other 10 days prior at the CCU Tennis Complex with the Bucs proving the victors in the matchup, 6-1.
The match today started in a similar fashion as Placha and Sophie Cloessner teamed up for the first win in doubles play, topping Romane Delay and Cari Berry on court no. 3, 8-0. Nicolin Luecke and Yvonne Hubler topped Sara Bondar and Marie Babayan on court no. 2 to clinch the doubles point and put the Bucs ahead 1-0 heading into singles with the 8-6 victory.
In singles action, Sidorenko was first off the court with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Honami Yazawa on court no. 3, to put the Bucs ahead 2-0. Hubler followed with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Delay on court no. 3 to put CSU within one point of the win.
Mi'Kola Cooper (court no. 4) and Placha both had matching 6-4 wins in the first set, but Placha took control in the second set on court no. 1, in defeating Scott to end play and start off the CSU celebration.
Charleston Southern 4, Coastal Carolina 0
Apr 18, 2015 at Asheville, N.C. (Asheville Racquet Club)
1. Marketa Placha (CSU) def. SCOTT, Libby (COASTAL) 6-4, 6-0
2. Yvonne Hubler (CSU) def. DELAY, Romane (COASTAL) 6-2, 6-0
3. Angelica Sidorenko (CSU) def. YAZAWA, Honami (COASTAL) 6-2, 6-2
4. Mi'Kola Cooper (CSU) vs. BONDAR, Sara (COASTAL) 6-4, 3-2, unfinished
5. Sophie Cloessner (CSU) vs. BABAYAN, Marie (COASTAL) 2-6, 1-3, unfinished
6. Valeria Koussenkova (CSU) vs. MAJTAN, Mila (COASTAL) 4-6, 2-1, unfinished
1. Mi'Kola Cooper/Angelica Sidorenko (CSU) def. SCOTT, Libby/YAZAWA, Honami (COASTAL) 6-5
2. Nicolin Luecke/Yvonne Hubler (CSU) def. BONDAR, Sara/BABAYAN, Marie (COASTAL) 8-6
3. Marketa Placha/Sophie Cloessner (CSU) def. BERRY, Cari/DELAY, Romane (COASTAL) 8-0
Coastal Carolina 16-7
Charleston Southern 18-2
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (3,2,1)
Big South Conference Women's Tennis Championship Match
No. 1 Charleston Southern vs. No. 2 Coastal Carolina
Official: Wayne Tesh T-2:30