Sea Gulls earn 20th win, advance to CAC championship with 9-0 victory over St. Mary's

Sea Gulls earn 20th win, advance to CAC championship with 9-0 victory over St. Mary's

SALISBURY, Md. - The Salisbury University women's tennis team has recorded its first 20-win season in program history, as the Sea Gulls topped St. Mary's College of Maryland, 9-0, in a CAC semifinal on Tuesday. With the win, the Sea Gulls advance to the Capital Athletic Conference tournament championship on Saturday.

The Sea Gulls (20-2) surged to a sweep in doubles actions as all three doubles matches ended within five minutes of each other. Senior Elaina Iosue and sophomore Katie Youlios were the first to finish, wrapping up a comfortable 8-1 win at No. 2 over the Seahawks (13-11).

Senior Victoria Handlin and junior Jessica Babyak rolled to an 8-1 win at No. 3 over Anna Passaniti and Chelsea Bradcovich, while freshman Natalie Savage and sophomore Roxanne Alban notched a win at No. 1 over Emily Stumpfig and Lauren Rost, completing the sweep by the same score.

Iosue, playing at No. 1 for the first time this season, started singles play strong for the maroon and gold as she took out Shannon Ramsey in straight sets, conceding only two games on her way to a 6-1, 6-1 win.

Babyak rolled to a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Passaniti at No. 5 while Handlin followed, minutes later, with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Alyssa Stine at No. 4.

At No. 3, Youlios cruised in the first set, winning 6-1, and then jumped out quickly to a 5-0 lead in the second over Rost, before Rost battled back with a break to cut the deficit to 5-2. Youlios then was able to seal the win, 6-2.

At No. 2, Alban broke Emily Stumpfig after trailing 2-1 to take a 3-2 advantage before Stumpfig broke back to cut the deficit to 5-4. Alban, however, fought back to break again, winning the set 6-4. She then rolled in the second, claiming the match with a 6-0 victory.

Sophomore Allison Lutz battled back from 3-0 down in the first set at No. 6 to cut the deficit to 3-2, but fell to Bradcovich 6-2, before earning the second with a 6-2 set win to force the third set super-tiebreaker. The two battled to a 9-9 deadlock before Lutz nudged ahead 10-9. On the next point, Bradcovich's forehand went in the net, giving Lutz the 11-9 tie-breaker win and sealing the sweep for the Gulls.

Salisbury will next play Saturday in the CAC championship match. The Sea Gulls will take on the winner of the University of Mary Washington and Frostburg State University, which play in the other semifinal match on Wednesday.

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