BOCA RATON, Fla. – Barry University’s No. 1-seeded women’s tennis team made quick work of No. 8 Nova Southeastern, 5-0, in the Sunshine State Conference Championships quarterfinals Thursday at South County Regional Park.
The No. 2 nationally-ranked Buccaneers (22-0) advance to Friday’s 9 a.m. semifinals. No. 21-ranked Nova fell to 7-12.
One postseason win tucked away.
“It helps because the regular season is now over, and you have to practice hard, you have to keep your shape,” sophomore Linda Fritschken said after winning both her doubles and singles matches and securing the Bucs’ clinching fifth point. “It’s the best preparation for nationals.”
While that’s still a ways away, the Buccaneers handled their business in beginning defense of their SSC title – an accomplishment they’ve been blessed to own for the past three years. Barry swept the doubles in relatively convincing fashion.
Fritschken and Kimmy Twelker defeated Austin Lavallii and Sabrina Kierberg, 8-1, at No. 2. Karina Goia and Isabela Miro were 8-3 winners over Luisa Pintado and Linda Kornienko at No. 3. Eleventh-ranked Elisabeth Abanda and Emma Onila beat Alexandra Johansson and Charlotte Cote, 8-2, at No. 1.
The Bucs were the first team during the quarterfinal round to complete doubles play, and the first to move onto the semifinals.
“For our team to finish the match before any other team shows how prepared we are and how focused we are at winning everything that comes our way,” said Onila, who secured the Bucs’ first singles victory.
Ranked 41st in the country, Onila defeated Johansson, 6-0, 6-2, at No. 2 singles.
“My confidence level has gotten better, and I felt like all my shots were on point,” Onila said. “I think I’m an all-court player.”
Ranked No. 33, Fritschken defeated Carlee Rizzolo, 6-1, 6-1, at No. 3.
“I was really focused because now I know it’s really important to keep the match as short as possible,” Fritschken said. “In the postseason, you’re trying save energy for the rest of the season. I’m really satisfied with my game. I would feel comfortable at every position right now.
“I’ve really improved my forehand. My backhand is one of my best shots, and I always trust in it, but now I can rely on my forehand. That gives me a lot more opportunities to go to the net to finish the point.”
Barry was up a set in each of the bottom half of the singles flights when Fritschken sealed the deal on Day 1 in Boca.
“I’m proud of my team,” Onila said, “and we hope to continue to playing at a high level as we are right now.”