GREENVILLE, S.C. -- In the battle of the Southern Conference's unbeaten teams, No. 48 Furman dominated ETSU, 6-1, Saturday at the Mickel Tennis Center in Greenville, S.C.
With the win, Furman (23-1, 7-0 SoCon) clinched the Southern Conference regular season title and earns the No. 1 seed in next weekend's league tournament. The title, which is the Paladins' fourth-straight, is Furman's 23rd overall. The Paladins will play Chattanooga, the tournament's No. 8 seed, Thursday at 8:30 a.m. in the opening round of the conference championships, which will be held in Macon, Ga.
ETSU drops to 11-10, 6-1 in the Southern Conference and will be the No. 2 seed in the championship tournament.
Furman swept the doubles matches to claim the opening point. Junior Katarina Kozarov and freshman Julia Adams, who rank 78th nationally, held off Laylo Bakhodirova and Alejandra Morales, 6-4, in the top-seeded contest, and senior Katty Weymouth, who was honored by the team in her final home match, combined with freshman Madison Dillon to down Raquel Amaro and Yi Chi Ma, 6-4, at number two. At flight three, sophomores Carol Elizabeth Kerman and Georgie Walker blew past Yunuen Elizarraras and A. Pascual-Larrinaga, 6-1.
The teams began singles play outside but were forced into a weather delay due to lightning in the area. Play resumed an hour later indoors.
Amaro put ETSU on the board with a 6-1, 6-0 win versus Dillon at flight four, before the Paladins answered with three-straight victories to claim the win. Adams, who was down 4-1 in the first set before the delay, came from behind for a 7-5, 6-2 advantage over Pascual-Larrinaga at number three, then Kozarov, who ranks 73rd nationally, defeated Bakhodirova, 6-3, 6-4, at flight one to put the Paladins on top, 3-1. In perfect Senior Day fashion, Furman's lone senior, Katty Weymouth clinched the title for the Paladins, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3, over Morales at flight two.
In the remaining two matches, Walker topped Chi Ma, 6-2, 6-2, at number six to push the Furman lead to 5-1, then Kerman outlasted Elizarraras, 7-6(5), 7-6(3), at flight five, to give the Paladins the final point.
"I am so proud of our girls," said Furman head coach Adam Herendeen. "We played a very good doubles point but got off to slow start in singles, and it was great to see our girls fight back and take care of business. One of the matches that turned the most was our senior, Katty, and that match just shows what a great fighter she has been for our team. It was neat to see her clinch the championship on her Senior Day!"
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information
#48 Furman 6, ETSU women's tennis 1
Apr 13, 2019 at Greenville, S.C. (Mickel Tennis Center)
1. #73 Katarina Kozarov (FUR) def. Laylo Bakhodirova (ETSUW) 6-3, 6-4
2. Katty Weymouth (FUR) def. Alejandra Morales (ETSUW) 1-6, 6-3, 6-3
3. Julia Adams (FUR) def. A. Pascual-Larrinaga (ETSUW) 7-5, 6-2
4. Raquel Amaro (ETSUW) def. Madison Dillon (FUR) 6-1, 6-0
5. Carol Eliz. Kerman (FUR) def. Yunuen Elizarraras (ETSUW) 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-3)
6. Georgie Walker (FUR) def. Yi Chi Ma (ETSUW) 6-2, 6-2
3. Carol Eliz. Kerman/Georgie Walker (FUR) def. Yunuen Elizarraras/A. Pascual-Larrinaga (ETSUW) 6-1
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (4,3,1,2,6,5)