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No. 63 Furman Clinches 18th SoCon Championship With 5-2 Win Over Davidson

Furman Women's Tennis
Furman Women's Tennis

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GREENVILLE, S.C. – The 63rd-ranked Furman women's tennis team clinched the 2014 Southern Conference Championship Thursday with a 5-2 win over Davidson at the Mickel Tennis Center in Greenville, S.C. 

With the victory, the Paladins completed a perfect 9-0 SoCon season and extended their winning streak to nine matches.  The championship, the program's first since 2009, is Furman's 18th women's tennis championship overall.

"I am so proud of this team for battling hard each match to win this championship," said Paladin head coach Debbie Southern, who has coached Furman to each of its 18 league titles.  "We were tested several times and came through."

The Paladins swept the doubles to claim the opening point.   Junior Alex Moreno-Kaste and senior Katherine Oudin combined to defeat Brites Moniz-Soares and Elaina Cummer, 8-5, at number one, and the freshman duo of Ansley Speaks and Blair Martin beat Nisha Crouser and Jenna Brunner, 8-1, at flight two.  In the third doubles contest, senior Amanda Murray and freshman Karlee Bryde recorded an 8-1 victory over Tamara Hill and Blake Nickles.

Furman honored the team's three seniors, Oudin, Murray, and Margaret Boyette, between the doubles and singles competition.  The Paladin trio combined for a 57-35 overall record and a 33-6 league mark over the past four seasons.

In singles play, the Paladins won four matches to clinch the victory.  Speaks held on for a 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 (10-7) advantage versus Moniz-Soares in the top-flighted contest, and junior Kelly Sullivan downed Brunner, 6-0, 6-3, at number four.  Boyette registered a 6-3, 6-1 win versus Hill at flight five, and Martin posted a quick 6-1, 6-0 victory over Nickles at number six.

The Wildcats scored at flights two and three.  Cummer downed Moreno-Kaste, 7-5, 6-4, at number two, and Crouser came from behind to beat Oudin, 4-6, 6-0, 1-0 (10-8).

Furman (16-5, 9-0 SoCon) enters the 2014 Southern Conference Tournament as the No. 1 seed.  The Paladins earn a bye in the tournament's first round and will face the winner of the No. 7 vs. No. 10 match-up on Thursday at 1 p.m. at the Champions Club in Chattanooga, Tenn.

#63 Furman 5, Davidson 2
Apr 10, 2014 at Greenville, S.C. (Mickel Tennis Center)

Singles competition

1. Ansley Speaks (FUR) def. Brites Moniz-Soares (DAV) 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 (10-7)

2. Elaina Cummer (DAV) def. Alex Moreno-Kaste (FUR) 7-5, 6-4

3. Nisha Crouser (DAV) def. Katherine Oudin (FUR) 4-6, 6-0, 1-0 (10-8)

4. Kelly Sullivan (FUR) def. Jenna Brunner (DAV) 6-0, 6-3

5. Margaret Boyette (FUR) def. Tamara Hill (DAV) 6-3, 6-1

6. Blair Martin (FUR) def. Blake Nickles (DAV) 6-1, 6-0


Doubles competition

1. Alex Moreno-Kaste/Katherine Oudin (FUR) def. Brites Moniz-Soares/Elaina Cummer (DAV) 8-5

2. Ansley Speaks/Blair Martin (FUR) def. Nisha Crouser/Jenna Brunner (DAV) 8-1

3. Amanda Murray/Karlee Bryde (FUR) def. Tamara Hill/Blake Nickles (DAV) 8-1


Match Notes

Davidson 7-16, 2-6 SoCon

Furman 16-5, 9-0 SoCon; National ranking #63

Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (6,4,5,2,1,3)