After falling one win short of the trophy last year, Wayne State women’s tennis won the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament for the first time since the 2014–2015 season. The Warriors gained the title with a defeat against Northwood University 4–0 at the Midland Community Tennis Center on Oct. 28.
WSU entered the tournament as the fourth seed and opened the championship with a 4–2 victory over fifth-seeded Ferris State University in the quarterfinals on Oct. 26.
The semifinals match against Grand Valley State University gave the Warriors a chance at redemption from last year’s championship loss to the Lakers. WSU gained a measure of revenge by knocking off the tournament’s number one seed 4–0 on Oct. 27.
The victory placed WSU in the championship match versus the number two seed, Northwood University, who won the last meeting between the teams 3–4 on Oct. 9 at the WSU tennis courts.
WSU’s number one doubles, senior Dasha Kuznetsova and redshirt sophomore Khadija Da-Silva posted a 6–4 victory. After Northwood picked up a win at number two doubles, senior Astrid Ciellza and sophomore Stephanie Stamate won their match 6–4 to give WSU the doubles point.
In singles competition, freshman Laura Cazacu posted a (6–0, 6–0) straight-set victory. After splitting the first two sets of her match (6–1, 3–6), Da-Silva won the final set 6–1 to put WSU one set win away from a championship win.
Kuznetsova, sophomores Linda Liong and Tanja Skalda didn’t complete their matches before freshman Carla Jewell posted a straight-set victory over Anna Goncharova (6–0, 6–2) to end the match and give WSU the tournament championship.
The win gives WSU its ninth conference title in program history, and the second under the league’s current format.
WSU also earned the conference’s automatic bid into the 2019 NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship.
WSU concludes the fall portion of its 2018–2019 schedule with a 11–2 record and a 7–2 conference record. The Warriors will resume competition in the spring.
Matt Williams is sports editor of The South End. He can be reached at email@example.com. Photo courtesy of the GLIAC Media Relations Department.