Fourth-Ranked Women's Tennis Spears Sharks

Fourth-Ranked Women's Tennis Spears Sharks
Avi Kigel has hoisted trophies several times as Barry's coach. Wednesday he had reason to beam proudly again after collecting his 100th career victory. Photo by Jim McCurdy

MIAMI SHORES, Fla.—The fourth-ranked Buccaneers’ dominant doubles play helped carry Barry to an 8-1 win over No. 17 Nova Southeastern on a day head coach Avi Kigel won his 100th match at Buccaneer Tennis Center on Wednesday.

"I really had no idea that was going to be the 100th," Kigel said. "It always feels good to know I won all those matches. I'm lucky to be in a great environment that allows me to be successful. I hope to be fortunate enough to win another 100 in the future."

The Bucs (7-0, 5-0 Sunshine State Conference), who have posted a remarkable 20-1 mark in doubles this spring, won all their pairs handily over the Sharks (3-4, 2-3 SSC).

Freshman combo Elisabeth Abanda and Emma Onila remained perfect at 7-0 at No. 1 doubles with an 8-3 win over Austin Lavallii and Sabrina Kierberg.

At No. 2, Linda Fritschken and Kimmy Twelker defeated Alexandra Johansson and Bianca Roberts 8-2, while at the final flight, Isabela Miro and Karina Goia beat Carlee Rizzolo and Iryna Serdyuk 8-1.

Singles was nearly as dominant, despite the Bucs lone ranked player’s absence from the lineup. Fritschken, ranked 19th, sat out the singles, but the Bucs still took five of six, winning all five in straight sets.

Abanda knocked off Kierberg 6-2, 6-1 at the top flight. Onila moved up to two to face the Sharks only ranked player and beat No. 37 Johansson 6-2, 6-2. Goia battled through a tight second set to defeat Rizzolo 6-1, 7-5 at number three. Both Onila and Goia remained a perfect 7-0 on the season in singles.

At No. 4, Twelker made short work of Serdyuk, 6-0, 6-1, while Akemi Maehama beat Kornienko 6-3, 6-0 at the fifth flight.

The Sharks’ lone win came in a super-tiebreaker at No. 6. After splitting sets, Luisa Pintado rallied in the third set, super-tiebreaker to beat Miro 1-6, 6-3, 10-8.

For Kigel, who in his fifth season has already won a national championship and three straight SSC titles, milestone victories aren't part of his vernacular. But hitting the century win certainly is worth savoring.

"I really don't look too much at records," Kigel said. "I look at how we progress each match, and we try to get better each day in practice. I'm happy to get there. It means we're working hard. We're just looking to get better from one match to the next. If we do that, we'll be very successful at the end of the season."

The Bucs travel to the Valdosta State Tournament this weekend in Georgia to meet No. 10 West Florida, the host Blazers and No. 50 Clayton State. It will begin a stretch of six matches in eight days in Georgia and Texas.

"I think the season is going pretty well so far," Kigel said. "Yes, the season is going to get tougher. We just try to take each match as its own, and try to get better."