PBC Champs! Pirates Serve Victory
(April 16, 2013) Armstrong's top-seeded and top-ranked men's and women's tennis teams continued a tradition of winning after snagging Peach Belt Conference Tournament titles on Sunday, April 14, at the Dr. Eddie Floyd Florence Tennis Center in Florence, S.C. These wins advance the teams to the 2013 NCAA Division II National Championships.
The women (24-1) have won the last 10 regular season PBC titles and added a 10th straight league tournament crown to that ledger in blanking the Columbus State University Cougars (20-3), who have lost to just two teams this season – the top-ranked Pirates twice and No. 4 BYU-Hawaii.
The women Pirates got off to a good start against the Cougars by sweeping all three doubles matches. They then clinched the title with No. 11-ranked Marlen Hacke's 6-2, 6-1 win over the Couger's Lauren Chapman and No. 3-ranked Barbara Krtickova's 7-6 (2), 6-1 win over Olivera Jokic. Krtickova was named the 2013 PBC Tournament Singles MVP, as well as the 2013 PBC Tournament Doubles MVP, along with Aleksandra Filipovski.
Having won 19 of 22 overall tournament titles in league history and 12 of 14 tournament titles since the 1999 season, Armstrong's women's tennis team has a strong foundation of success going into the championship to defend their 2012 national championship title.
The men (22-1) added their ninth straight PBC tournament crown with a 5-1 win over No. 8-ranked Columbus State (17-3). Doubles play in the title match went in favor of the team, as the Pirates won two of three matches to take a 2-1 lead heading into singles play. The top-ranked doubles duo of Dan Regan and Georgi Rumenov beat Columbus' Olivier Simonet and Marco Almorin, while Matus Mydla and Jaan Kononov beat Adi Malicbegovic and Danilo Sardelli. Singles play saw the men come up with two quick straight-set singles wins as No. 5-ranked Mydla beat Simonet, and No. 24-ranked Lalic beat Almorin. With three other singles matches in or heading to third sets, it took No. 1-ranked Rumenov to clinch the title for the Pirates with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Divljak.
Mydla was named the PBC Tournament singles MVP, while Regan and Rumenov were named the PBC Tournament doubles MVPs. Earning an automatic bid into the national championship, the Armstrong's men's tennis teams will also begin defense of its national championship title won last year.
The 2013 NCAA Division II National Championship will be held on April 27-19. Here's to the Pirates and their winning ways!