CHARLOTTE, N.C. (BigSouthSports.com) - Charleston Southern will open next week's Big South Women's Tennis Championships as the No. 2 seed as the Big South Conference announced the tournament field on Saturday evening.
The Bucs (15-2, 7-1) were recognized as the co-Big South Champions following the conclusion of the regular season after a strong season that saw CSU post a league-best 14 match winning streak that included a 4-3 win over top-seed Winthrop at the Buccaneer Tennis Complex on April 8.
The shared title is CSU's fourth in program history and third in the past four seasons as the Bucs tied with Winthrop and Liberty with a 7-1 record in Big South Conference play on the season. The Bucs' previous regular season titles include the 2010, 2014, and 2015 seasons. CSU's last regular season title jumpstarted the Bucs all the way to the tournament championship and the program's first postseason berth at the 2015 NCAA Athens Regional hosted by the University of Georgia.
The Bucs earned the No. 2 overall seed by virtue of the Big South Conference's tiebreaker policy. The first two steps of the tiebreaker (conference won-loss record and head-to-head competition) did not create an advantage as all three teams went 1-1 against each other. The third step -- aggregate match record against teams tied for first-place -- broke the tie as Winthrop was an aggregate 8-6 vs. CSU and LU, compared to 7-7 for Charleston Southern (No. 2 seed) and 6-8 for Liberty (No. 3 seed).
CSU has once again showcased its depth all across the court as four different players recorded double-digit wins in singles play on the season, while the duo of Sophie Cloessner and Nicolin Luecke picked up 10 wins in doubles competition.
Cloessner and sophomore Kimberley Koerner both posted a team-high 15 wins in singles play on the season, while senior Valeria Koussenkova recorded a perfect 8-0 mark in Big South Conference play on the year. Cloessner went 7-1 in conference action lining up on courts 1 and 2 for the Bucs.
Gardner-Webb takes the No. 4 seed with its 5-3 Big South record, followed by UNC Asheville at No. 5 (4-4). Campbell earned the No. 6 seed after finishing 3-5 in the league this year, while Presbyterian College received the No. 7 seed with its 2-6 Big South record. Longwood captured the No. 8 seed at 1-7, and Radford rounded out the seedings at No. 9 after going winless in league action.
The 2017 Big South Women's Tennis Championship presented by Musco Sports Lighting will be held at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex on the campus of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. The event begins Thursday, April 20 with one first round match and concludes with the Championship contest on Sunday, April 23. The Big South's Tournament champion receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Women's Tennis Championship. The Championship schedule is as follows:
Thursday, April 20 – First Round
Match 1: No. 8 Longwood vs. No. 9 Radford, 9:00am
Friday, April 21 – Quarterfinals
Match 2: No. 1 Winthrop vs. No. 8/9 winner, 9:00am
Match 3: No. 2 Charleston Southern vs. No. 7 Presbyterian College, 9:00am
Match 4: No. 4 Gardner-Webb vs. No. 5 UNC Asheville, 12:00pm
Match 5: No. 3 Liberty vs. No. 6 Campbell, 12:00pm
Saturday, April 22 – Semifinals
Match 6: Match 2 winner vs. Match 4 winner, 9:00am
Match 7: Match 3 winner vs. Match 5 winner, 9:00am
Sunday, April 23 – Championship
Match 8: Match 6 winner vs. Match 7 winner, 12:00pm