Armstrong Tennis Sweeps 2011 Peach Belt Conference Championships &Tournament

The Armstrong Atlantic State University men's and women's tennis teams have done it again. The women's tennis squad captured its eighth straight Peach Belt Conference tournament title with three wins in Augusta, Ga. The top-ranked Lady Pirates began the weekend with a 5-0 win over Lander on Friday, then Armstrong claimed a 5-0 win over Clayton State on Saturday April 16 before knocking off Columbus State, 5-1, in the championship match on Sunday.

Senior Alida Muller-Wehlau, who was named the PBC's Player of the Year on Saturday morning, clinched the match on Sunday against the Cougars to earn PBC Singles MVP honors for the tournament. Muller-Wehlau and freshman Barbora Krtickova - the league's Freshman fo the Year - went 3-0 in doubles play on the weekend to earn PBC Doubles MVP honors.

On the men's side, the No. 2-ranked Pirates won their seventh straight Peach Belt Conference tournament title with three wins, beginning with a 5-0 win over USC Aiken on Friday. Armstrong knocked off Columbus State, 5-1, on Saturday, then downed surprise finalist and host Augusta State, 5-1, on Sunday to claim the title.

Junior Eudaldo Bonet earned PBC Singles MVP honors for the tournament, while sophomore Matus Mydla and freshman Pedro Scocuglia went 3-0 to earn PBC Doubles MVP honors. On Saturday, Bonet was named the PBC's Player of the Year for the second time in his career, while Scocuglia earned PBC Freshman of the Year honors.

The weekend prior, the Pirates and Lady Pirates each swept nationally-ranked Flagler on Tuesday afternoon by 9-0 scores to capture the 2011 Peach Belt Conference regular season championships.

For the top-ranked and three-time defending DII national champion Lady Pirates, the regular season title is the eighth straight in the program's history and Armstrong has also won 13 of 15 regular season women's tennis titles since the conference moved to a standardized schedule in 1997. Armstrong has not lost a regular season conference women's tennis match since 2003, a streak that has now reached 86 consecutive matches.

Armstrong gave up just three games in sweeping all three doubles matches from No. 10-ranked Flagler. Aleksandra Filipovski and Barbora Krtickova notched an 8-1 win over Lauren Pfeiffer and Rachel Gould, 8-1, at No. 1 singles. Alida Muller-Wehlau and Tina Ronel bested Veronica Figueroa and Jennifer Saviano, 8-2, at No. 2 singles while Kathleen Henry and Joanna Szymczyk beat Gabby Scammacca and Deon Miller, 8-0, at No. 3 doubles.

The Lady Pirates then swept all six singles matches in straight sets. No. 5-ranked Muller-Wehlau defeated Pfeiffer, 6-1, 6-0, at No. 1 singles, while No. 14-ranked Filipovski beat Figueroa, 6-2, 6-2, at No. 2 singles. No. 11-ranked Krtickova knocked off Saviano, 6-0, 6-1, at No. 3 singles and No. 20-ranked Ronel beat Miller, 6-1, 6-2, at No. 4 singles.

With a 21-0 overall record this season and an overall winning streak that has reached 69 straight matches, Armstrong will turn its attention to tournament play beginning in mid-April with the Peach Belt Championships, then the NCAA Division II regionals and eventually the NCAA DII National Championships on May 11-14 in Altamonte Springs, Fla.

For the No. 2-ranked Pirate men, the Peach Belt title is the seventh overall and Armstrong has won six of the last seven league regular season titles.

Armstrong swept all three doubles matches from the No. 12-ranked Saints to take a 3-0 lead after doubles. The top-ranked duo of Rafael Array and Mikk Irdoja bested the No. 5-ranked David Cotrone and Gino Ramirez, 8-5, at No. 1 doubles. Matus Mydla and Pedro Scocuglia defeated Harry Snoxell and Uriel Oquendo, 8-5, at No. 2 doubles and Eudaldo Bonet and Daniel Regan beat Peter Coulis and Adam Hunt, 8-1, at No. 3 doubles.

The Pirates then swept all six singles matches in straight sets. Newly-minted No. 1-ranked Bonet defeated No. 3-ranked Cotrone, 6-4, 6-2, at No. 1 singles. No. 4-ranked Irdoja beat Coulis, 6-1, 6-1, at No. 2 singles and No. 24-ranked Mydla defeated Ramirez, 6-2, 6-1, at No. 3 singles. No. 25-ranked Array downed Snoxell, 6-3, 6-2, at No. 4 singles and Regan beat Hunt, 6-1, 6-1, at No. 5 singles. Scocuglia beat Skyler Engel, 6-0, 6-1, at No. 6 singles to complete the singles sweep.

The Armstrong men are focused on returning to the form that led them to back-to-back NCAA DII National Championships in 2008 and 2009. The Pirates will also begin tournament play in mid-April at the Peach Belt Championships, moving on to the NCAA Divison II regionals and eventually the DII National Championships in Altamonte Springs, Fla.

Altamonte Springs was the location of the Pirates and Lady Pirates' both winning the national titles in 2009 and it has also been the site of the Lady Pirates' national championships in 2005 and 2010.

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