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Furman Blanks Western Carolina, 4-0, To Advance To SoCon Semifinals

Katarina Weymouth
Katarina Weymouth

CHATTANOOGA, TENN. – Top-ranked Furman, the SoCon regular season champions, advanced to the semifinals of the Southern Conference Championship Friday with a 4-0 win over Western Carolina at the Champions Club in Chattanooga, Tenn.  The Paladins (15-8, 7-0 SoCon) will square off against No. 4 Samford Saturday at 2 p.m. in the semifinals, with the winner advancing to Sunday's championship match.

Furman grabbed two doubles wins to take the opening point.  Sophomore Ansley Speaks, the 2016 SoCon Player of the Year, and rookie Katarina Weymouth, who was honored as the league's freshman of the year, beat Shannon Bettiol and Stacia Kissell, 6-3, at flight one, and All-SoCon performers junior Karlee Bryde and sophomore Harper Caswell topped Elizabeth Ansari and Nicole Nielly, 6-1, at number three.  The flight two match was unfinished.

In singles action, the Paladins captured three singles wins in straight sets for the team victory.  Junior Blair Martin, who earned All-SoCon honors for doubles, recorded a 6-2, 6-4 win versus Bettiol at flight three, and Bryde handed Savannah Taranto a 6-0, 7-5 loss at number four.  At flight five, freshman Gabby Rodriguez, who earned a spot on the SoCon All-Freshman Team and garnered All-SoCon accolades, posted a 6-3, 6-1 advantage versus Ansari.  Matches at flights one, two, and six were unfinished since the match was secured.

Furman leads the SoCon with 16 Southern Conference Tournament championships after winning the program's last championship in 2008.

Furman 4, Western Carolina 0
Apr 22, 2016 at Chattanooga, Tenn. (Champions Club)

Singles competition

1. Ansley Speaks (FUR) vs. Stacia Kissell (WCU) 7-5, 2-2, unfinished

2. Katarina Weymouth (FUR) vs. Megan McLinden (WCU) 6-4, 5-1, unfinished

3. Blair Martin (FUR) def. Shannon Bettiol (WCU) 6-2, 6-4

4. Karlee Bryde (FUR) def. Savannah Taranto (WCU) 6-0, 7-5

5. Gabby Rodriguez (FUR) def. Elizabeth Ansari (WCU) 6-3, 6-1

6. Harper Caswell (FUR) vs. Erin Maguire (WCU) 6-2, 5-5, unfinished


Doubles competition

1. Katarina Weymouth/Ansley Speaks (FUR) def. Shannon Bettiol/Stacia Kissell (WCU) 6-3

2. Blair Martin/Gabby Rodriguez (FUR) vs. Megan McLinden/Savannah Taranto (WCU) 5-4, unfinished

3. Karlee Bryde/Harper Caswell (FUR) def. Elizabeth Ansari/Nicole Nielly (WCU) 6-1


Match Notes

Western Carolina 12-11 (0-7 SoCon)

Furman 15-8 (7-0 SoCon)

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

T-2:00 A-72