NEW ORLEANS, La. THE RUNDOWN
Teams: ULM (16-1)
South Alabama (21-5)
Location: Pepsi Center / New Orleans, La.
New Orleans, La. – The ULM tennis team won its first ever Sun Belt Conference Championship on Sunday afternoon, rallying from a 3-1 deficit to defeat South Alabama by a 4-3 score on the back of Karolina Snita's three set thriller to send the Warhawks to the NCAA Tournament.
-In doubles action, South Alabama took the point with a pair of wins over Madalina Grigoriu and Snita on court two, and Tiffany Mylonas and Luana Stanciu in No. 3 doubles, by scores of 6-3 and 6-2, respectively. The ULM pair of Stefana Andrei and Petra Horakova were tied 4-4 in No. 1 doubles action when their match was called due to doubles point being decided.
-The Warhawk comback was started by Patricia Villar out of the number three position, who won 6-3, 6-0. South Alabama then took a 2-1 lead in the match overall when Stefana Andrei fell 6-3, 3-6,1-6 in three sets in her number one singles match. Tiffany Mylonas then fell in her match on court two by a 2-6, 6-3, 3-6 three set score, which gave the Jaguars a 3-1 lead in the match at the time.
-Madalina Grigoriu kept ULM alive when she came back in her number six singles match to win 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 to pull the match score to 3-2. Petra Horakova continued her perfect spring slate with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 win in her number four position to set up the final singles match to decide the championship.
-Knotted at 3-3, ULM's Karolina Snita battled hard in her number five singles match and pulled off the win in the third set by a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 to clinch the match for the Warhawks and set off the celebration.
QUOTABLES FROM HEAD COACH TERRANCE DE JONGH
Overall Thoughts on the Championship: "I am very proud of my team today. Their hard work throughout the year paid off with the long match victory. I want to thank (senior) Petra Horakova for staying loyal to our program and battling through the hard times with us as she also battled back from injury. Today's match was tough, it had long rallies on every court and in the end I think our conditioning was a key."
Thoughts when facing the deficit: "Obviously we were down 3-1 and could not lose again, but I was feeling confident because we had (Karolina) Snita winning her match and Petra was battling hard when we fell into the hole. Madalina's match was the turning point and a big swing match as she was able to pull all the momentum to our side with her win. We could feel the energy after her win."
-The Warhawks now wait for the NCAA Selection Show on May 2 to determine where they will head in the 2017 NCAA Tennis Championship. The Selection Show will air live on NCAA.com at 4:30 p.m. CST on May 2.