Women's Tennis

Bucs travel to take on NCAA Division III powerhouse Emory on Friday afternoon

Bucs travel to take on NCAA Division III powerhouse Emory on Friday afternoon

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern steps out of conference play this weekend as the Bucs make the trip to Atlanta, Ga. and NCAA Division III powerhouse Emory University for a Friday afternoon match. First serve between the Bucs and the Eagles is set for 3 p.m.

The match will be streamed live with cameras located on courts 1, 2, 3 & 5, and 4 & 6. The link to the stream is located on the CSU women's tennis schedule page, or by clicking HERE.

The Bucs and the Eagles have made it an almost annual tradition for the two teams to face off in the spring. The series began in 2015 with the two teams taking each other on at the Kennesaw State Tournament on February 28 and has included yearly matchups in the following two seasons.

CSU has won all three contests against the Eagles starting with the first matchup between the two teams in 2015. The Bucs took the 5-2 win over Emory in the inaugural meeting. CSU followed up with a 5-2 home win against the Eagles in 2016, and then the Bucs followed with a 4-3 win last season at the Buccaneer Tennis Complex.

This will be the fourth matchup between the two teams as Emory looks to continue an already strong season that includes the 2018 ITA Division III Indoor National Championship. The Eagles boast a seven-match winning streak heading into Friday's competition.

Emory is 0-2 this season against NCAA Division I competition with the Eagles falling at home to Georgia State on February 10, 6-3, in their first contest against a Division I opponent. The Eagles fell the following day, 6-1, to Coastal Carolina.

Charleston Southern snapped a two-match losing streak on Tuesday afternoon as the Buccaneers topped Big South foe Radford, 5-2. CSU swept the doubles point against the Highlanders and utilized singles wins on courts 3, 4, 5, and 6, to secure their fifth conference win of the season.

The Buccaneers sit third overall in the conference standings with CSU only having one remaining Big South match to play in the regular season. CSU will close out conference play with an April 7 contest at Winthrop.

CSU enters the weekend contest with a 9-5 overall record in the season and a 5-2 mark in Big South play. The Bucs have been nearly dominant in the home portion of the 2018 schedule this season boasting a 6-1 mark at the Buccaneer Tennis Complex.

The road has not been as kind to CSU as the Bucs are 2-2 in true road matches this year. The road mark, however, is slightly deceiving as the Bucs' two road losses have been to No. 6 South Carolina and a talented Clemson team.

Sophie Cloessner (8-4) and Filippa Ericson (8-5) have paced CSU's singles efforts on the season with the duo sitting tied for the team's singles lead. Madalina Man (7-4) and Valeria Koussenkova (7-5) have also been solid contributors in the CSU lineup in the 2018 season, while Kimberley Koerner has lined up on court no. 5 all season.

The doubles duo of Cloessner/Man has been difficult for opponents to crack this season as the two sit among the conference leaders with a 10-4 record on court no. 1. Ericson/Koussenkova are 8-5 on doubles court no. 2, while Michelle Schmitz and Koerner debuted as a doubles duo this past week with a win on court no. 3 against Radford.

Emory enters the match as the No. 1 ranked women's tennis team in the Oracle/ITA Division III Women's National Team Rankings administered by the ITA according to the latest polls.

The Eagles have had a pair of athletes recognized as the UAA Women's Tennis Athletes of the Week with Bridget Harding (March 6) and Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico (March 26) both receiving honors this week.

Harding and Gonzalez-Rico have been the team's leaders on the season with the duo both splitting time on courts 1 and 2 in dual match play. Gonzalez-Rico boasts an impressive 23-4 overall record on the season with wins in nine of her last 10 matches. Harding is 17-6 on the year with a 4-3 mark on court no. 1.

The duo also is the top doubles unit on the Emory roster with a mark of 21-4 overall on the year and a 9-0 mark in dual match play on court no. 1.

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