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Sensational Sunday for Seahawks

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WILLIAMBSBURG, VA (UNCW) -- Eleven proved to be a lucky number, indeed, for the UNCW women’s tennis team.

The No. 1-seeded Seahawks won their 11th straight match and it couldn’t have been any more dramatic as Coach Evan Clark’s team edged No. 2 seed College of Charleston, 4-3, to capture their first Colonial Athletic Association Women’s Tennis Championship late Sunday at William & Mary’s Millie West Tennis Facility.

UNCW extended its record to 17-3 overall and finished a perfect 7-0 in the CAA with Sunday’s thrilling win. The Seahawks downed No. 8 Hofstra, No. 4 James Madison and No. 2 CofC in succession en route to the championship.

The Seahawks made their first appearance in the CAA finals last spring and were determined to take advantage of this year’s return trip. With the match knotted at 3-all, it all came down to the No. 1 singles match, where 2014 CAA Player-of-the-Year Angie Sekely delivered a 7-6 (1), 6-3 victory against Kelly Kamboourelis to secure the school’s first conference women’s title.

“It was a special day for a special group of players,” said second-year Head Coach Evan Clark. “We talked last night about finding a way to win. It was a tight match and we just found a way. Give credit to the College of Charleston for playing a tough match.

“It makes it even more special to be the first team in the school’s history to win the conference women’s tennis championship. I was fortunate to inherit a great group and we added on to it. It’s a nice feeling to get that first one.”

Charleston grabbed a 1-0 advantage in the match by taking two of the three doubles matches for the early point. It was only the third time this season the Seahawks dropped the doubles point.

UNCW’s No. 3 team of Kelly Cameron and Miller Hales remained unbeaten by blanking Brooke McAmis and Grace Baker, 8-0, for their 13th win of the season without a loss. But Charleston bounced back with wins at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles to grab the momentum.

“It’s always nice to win the doubles point,” Clark reflected, “but we didn’t push the panic button. There were still six points out there. Charleston played great in doubles, but you have to give credit to our team for finding a way in singles.”

The Cougars increased the margin to 2-0 in singles when Mara Arygriou won in straight sets over UNCW freshman Annika Sillanpaa, 6-4, 6-1, at the No. 3 position. Senior Olga Blank then got the Seahawks on the board with a 6-2, 6-1 triumph over McAmis at No. 2 singles to slice the lead to 2-1.

UNCW pulled even on the next match off the court when junior Alyssa Ritchie downed Samantha Maddox, 6-4, 6-1, at No. 4 singles and then jumped ahead, 3-2, on a 7-6 (4), 6-2 decision by Cameron at No. 6 singles over Jenny Falcone.

Charleston bounced back to tie the score at 3-all, however, on a 6-4, 6-4 victory by Katherine Schofield against Christine Kharkevitch at No. 5 singles, setting up the decisive match at No. 1 singles.

2014 CAA Women’s Tennis Championships
April 18-20, 2014 – College of William & Mary – Williamsburg, Va.
Tournament Results

Friday, April 18, 2014 – Quarterfinals
#1 UNCW 4, #8 Hofstra 0
#4 James Madison 4, #5 Delaware 0
#2 College of Charleston 4, #7 Towson 0
#3 William & Mary 4, #6 Drexel 2

Saturday, April 19, 2014 – Semifinals
#1 UNCW 4, #4 James Madison 0
#2 College of Charleston 4, #3 William & Mary 0

Sunday, April 20, 2014 – Championship
#1 UNCW 4, #2 College of Charleston 3

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WILLIAMSBURG, VA – Displaying the dominance that has been prevalent during their current nine-match winning streak, UNCW won its fourth Colonial Athletic Association men’s tennis championship with a 4-0 victory over the College of Charleston early Sunday at William & Mary’s Millie West Tennis Facility.

The 46th-ranked and top-seeded Seahawks earned the CAA’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament and pushed their record to 15-6 on the season. The College of Charleston, rated 66th by the ITA, was making its first appearance in the tourney and owns an 18-6 record.

The shutout gave the Seahawks back-to-back titles and their fourth CAA crown in six years. UNCW has now won the men’s championship in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2014.

UNCW successfully defended its title Sunday with the same recipe it has used over the last month. The Seahawks have shut out three of their last four opponents and improved to 6-4 against nationally-ranked teams with Sunday’s convincing win over the Cougars.

The Seahawks took control of the CAA final early by claiming the doubles point behind the No. 1 and No. 2 tandems. The No. 2 team of Pedro Mol and Kaue Pereira dominated Rodrigo Encinas and Crescente Lesser, 8-2, to be the first off the court and CAA Player-of-the-Year Rafael Aita paired with Sam Williams for an 8-5 decision against Brice Allanic and Alon Faiman to secure the point.

In singles, Aita, ranked 48th, crushed Allanic, 6-2, 6-1, at the top of the lineup to give the Seahawks a 2-0 advantage and Pereira increased the margin to 3-0 with a 6-1, 6-4 triumph over Zack Lewis at the No. 4 position. Sophomore Santtu Leskinen then delivered the championship clincher with a 6-1, 6-2 pounding of Charlie Ghriskey at No. 5 singles.

Aita took over sole possession of No. 2 on UNCW’s all-time singles wins list, passing former great John Shackelford. The Lima, Peru, product has compiled a 63-17 record over the last four seasons, second only to Kinshuk Sharma (2007-11) at 65-24.

The UNCW men, who have been ranked as high as No. 44 this spring, now wait for the pairings for the NCAA Regionals. The Seahawks went 1-1 in the NCAA’s last May, upsetting No. 18 South Carolina before losing to No. 9 Duke in the Durham Regional.

2014 CAA Men’s Tennis Championships
April 18-20, 2014 – College of William & Mary – Williamsburg, Va.
Final Results

Friday, April 18, 2014 – Quarterfinals
#2 College of Charleston 4, #7 Delaware 0
#3 William & Mary 4, #6 Hofstra 0
#4 James Madison 4, #5 Drexel 0

Saturday, April 19, 2014 – Semifinals
#1 UNCW 4, #4 JMU 0
#2 College of Charleston 4, #3 William & Mary 0

Sunday, April 20, 2014 – Championships
#1 UNCW 4, #2 College of Charleston 0

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WILMINGTON, NC (UNCW) -- Casey Golden homered twice and Steven Linkous added four hits as UNCW rallied from an early deficit to beat Towson, 11-8, and finish off a two-game Colonial Athletic Association series sweep on Sunday at Brooks Field.

The Seahawks evened their record at 19-19 overall and 5-5 in the CAA. The Tigers, meanwhile, saw their record also even at 17-17 and dropped to 1-7 in the league. UNCW moved into third in the league standings and head to fourth-place Delaware next weekend.

UNCW reliever Cory Gantz (1-1) earned the win with 3.1 innings of relief. Kelly Secrest nailed down his third save of the season tossing the final two innings. Lost in the shuffle was Christian MacDonald’s relief appearance where he shutout the Tigers over his 2.2 innings out of the bullpen. He struck out two and allowed one hit.

TU starter Bruce Zimmerman, the reigning CAA Rookie-of-the-Week, took the loss to fall to 4-4. He allowed seven runs on eight hits over three-plus innings. Golden connected on a leadoff homer in the first inning and later added a two-run shot to center in a three-run third for the Seahawks. His leadoff homer was the second for him this season. Luke Dunlap added three hits and Corey Dick two. Linkous scored twice and knocked in one run. Peter Bowles had three hits for Towson, including a home run in the fifth inning. Brendan Butler had two hits and Brandon Gonnella connected on his first round tripper of the season.

Up next: The Seahawks host future conference rival Elon on Tuesday in a 6 p.m. start.
How it happened: Towson jumped to a 5-1 lead after two, but UNCW plated three in the third, two coming on Golden’s second homer of the game, and four more in the fourth. In the fourth inning, UNCW was able to take advantage of three Towson miscues while collecting four hits.

Inside the box score: UNCW finished 5-for-14 in RBI opportunities, including Linkous going 2-for-2 … The Seahawks landed their leadoff hitter on base safely in 4-of-8 innings … UNCW pitchers allowed just two hits in RBI situations and held Towson to a pair of two-out hits.

Notes: Golden is the second Seahawk to homer twice in one game, joining Ryan LaGrange (4/4 at William & Mary) … Linkous tied his career-high with four hits (2/22/13 vs Lehigh) … On the weekend, Linkous hit a staggering .875 (7-for-8) with four runs scored, two doubles and four runs knocked in … UNCW hit .353 on the weekend while Towson hit .206 … Golden has now reached base safely in each of his last 12 games … The Seahawks now lead the all-time series with Towson, 34-16.

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SOUTHPORT, NC (CAA) -- College of Charleston was crowned the 2014 CAA Women’s Golf Champions after strong play during the weather shortened 36-hole tournament at the St. James Plantation Reserve Club. Cougar freshman Laura Fuenstueck earned medalist after carding a two-day score of 148 (+4).

The Cougars, the newest members of the CAA, posted a two-round score of 618 (302-316) after a windy first round and a wet and soggy final round. The Reserve Club saw over 4.25” of rain fall from Friday evening to Sunday morning, creating difficult playing conditions for the final round. The CAA Women’s Golf Championship was shortened to 36-holes due to weather for the first time in conference history.

William & Mary posted a two-day score of 633 (315-318) and Delaware carded 311-322—633 to tie for second in the team scoring. UNCW earned fourth place (310-324—634), while James Madison cut seven strokes from Friday’s score to finish fifth (324-317—641). Towson placed sixth (324-335—661), Dayton followed at seventh (328-342—670), while Richmond (333-349—682, 8th) and Hofstra (339-347—686, 9th) rounded out the team scoring.

Fuenstueck, who shot even (72) in the opening round, followed her performance with a 4-over par 76 in the final round. With her efforts over the weekend, the rookie golfer earned medalist and Most Outstanding Performer honors. She is the first freshman to win the CAA Women’s Golf Championship since the conference started sponsoring the sport in 2002-03.

Joining Fuenstueck on the All-Tournament team, was teammate Julia Neumann (79-75—154, T2nd), UNCW senior Lori Beth Adams (76-78—154, T2nd), Delaware junior Amanda Terizan (77-78—155, 4th), James Madison junior Shabril Brewer (80-76—156, T5th) and William & Mary freshmen Kelly McGovern (77-79—156, T5th) and Kelly Moran (79-77—156, T5th). Both Fuenstueck (97) and Adams (95) are ranked by GolfStat among the top 100 women’s Division I golfers.

The Cougars earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship. They will find out their destination during the NCAA announcement on April 28th at 6 p.m. on Golf Channel. The regionals are slated for play Thursday, May 8 through Saturday, May 10, at three sites (Central: Florida State: East, Oklahoma State: Central, Washington: West). The Cougars’ women’s golf championship is the school’s second CAA title during their inaugural season in the league, as volleyball earned the 2013 CAA title.

Neumann and Delaware sophomore Andi Slane shot round lows of 75 during a rainy final round. Neumann birdied back-to-back holes (No. 15, par 4 & No. 16, par 3) on her way to earning All-Tournament honors. Slane also posted a pair of birdies, one in the front nine (No. 3, par 5) and one in the back nine (No. 16).

The Tribe earned their highest finish in the CAA Championship (T2nd), as they had finished previously as high as third in 2008, 2004, and 2003.

The Seahawks, which finished lower than the top 2 for just the second time in the past 10 years, was led by veteran Adams. She made eagle on No. 9 (par 4) on Friday and birdied on par 5, No. 17 as she finished the second-round. The senior bogeyed 13 holes in the 36-hole event.

Also finishing among the Top 10 among the individuals was James Madison senior Maria Andrea Legaspi (81-77—158), Richmond senior Lauren Conder (75-83—158) and UNCW sophomore Annette Lyche (81-77—158) and senior Meghan Theiss (78-80—158), which all tied for eighth place.

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RALEIGH, NC (UNCW) -– Led by freshman Thomas Lilly’s even-par 72 in the only round played at the NC State Spring Open, UNCW finished in seventh-place, one stroke ahead of 37th-ranked Wake Forest, on Sunday at the Lonnie Poole Golf Course.

Virginia won the event by three strokes over fellow ACC rival Clemson. NC State’s Logan Harrell earned medalist honors with a three-stroke win over Lukas Crisp of Francis Marion. For Lilly, it was a career-high finish for him and the lowest round score of his rookie season.

The Seahawks next compete at the Colonial Athletic Association championships in Southport, N.C. The three-round championship will be held at The Reserve at St. James Plantation for the second consecutive year. UNCW enters the championship as the three-time defending champion.

UNCW results: T4. Thomas Lilly (72); T26. Payne McLeod (76); T26. Ryan Nagy (76); T40. Preston Harrington (77); T61. Trey Guy (81)

Team Results: 1. Virginia 292; 2. Clemson 295; 3. Loyola (Md.) 296; 4. NC State 298; 5. Duke 299; 6. St. John’s 300; 7. UNCW 301; 8. Wake Forest 303; T9. George Mason 305; T9. Francis Marion 305; 11. Temple 311; 12. Valparaiso 314; 13. Columbia 318; 14. NC State (B) 319; 15. Princeton 321

Medalist leaderboard: 1. Logan Harrell (NCSU) 67; 2. Lukas Crisp (FMU) 70; 3. Ryan McCormick (SJU) 71; T4. Greg Jarmas (Princeton) 72; T4. Thomas Lilly (UNCW) 72; T4. David Pastore (UVA) 72; T.4 Turner Southey Gordon (Duke) 72; eight players tied for 8th

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