FREDERICKSBURG, Va. - The Capital Athletic Conference women's tennis championship will remain with the University of Mary Washington program for a fifth consecutive season as the top-seed Eagles defeated second-seed Salisbury University 8-1 on Saturday afternoon at the Battleground. The Eagles, ranked seventh in the nation, surrendered their first point to the Sea Gulls in over three years in conference title games.
This is the fourth time Salisbury has finished second to Mary Washington in the past five years. The Sea Gulls last won the CAC championship in 2003. The Eagles have won 16 conference titles overall since 1991.
Salisbury (16-5), ranked 13th in the Atlantic South region, tied the match midway through doubles play as the Sea Gulls won at No. 3 doubles. The Sea Gulls dropped the first point at second doubles as Megan Lawlor and Kate Malpeli, ranked 13th in the region, shut out juniors Hannah Parsons and Robyn Wendell, 8-0. Sophomore Kelly Fahrner and Rachel Iosue defeated Mary Washington's duo of Courtney Goimarac and Stacey Rickard, 8-5. UMW took its final lead of the match when the top Eagle duo of Natalia Fugate and Becky Morse-Karzen, ranked fifth in the region, defeated Salisbury top team of junior Anna Marie Kable and sophomore Jackie Burr, 8-5. Kable and Burr are ranked seventh in the region at doubles. The win gave Mary Washington the 2-1 lead heading into singles play.
The UMW built on its lead quickly in singles play as the Eagles won at fourth and sixth singles against Salisbury's Wendell and Parsons, respectively. Becky Morse-Karzen, ranked third in the region, sealed the victory with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Kable at No. 1 singles. Burr fell at No. 5 singles with a 6-2, 6-2 loss to Amy Sheetz. The Eagles closed out the match with wins at second and third singles. UMW's Courtney Goimarac beat Fahrner 6-3, 6-0 while Iosue was defeated by Fugate 6-2, 6-4, in the closes singles match of the day for Salisbury.
The loss concludes the season for the Sea Gulls, who set a new team record under the direction of SU coach Randy Halfpap with 16 wins. Salisbury was second in the conference as the maroon and gold posted a 5-1 mark during the CAC regular season. Salisbury will have a lot to build off for next year as there isn't a senior on the team.