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May 28, 2024 10:38 pm

UMO women’s tennis crowned conference champions

FLORENCE, S.C. – In a contest that was decided by the No. 5 singles match, the Trojans prevailed by a 4-3 margin over No. 1 seeded Erskine on April 23 to capture a second-straight Conference Carolinas Championship at the Dr. Eddie Floyd Florence Tennis Center.

With the victory, the University of Mount Olive women’s tennis program improves to 14-11 overall and secured an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. UMO earned the third Conference Carolinas championship in program history and became the first back-to-back champion since Erskine accomplished the feat in 2013-14. The Trojans finished third in the conference standings and defeated the top two seeds in the league tournament over the weekend. Meanwhile, Erskine dropped to 15-5 this season with a pair of losses against Mount Olive and was ranked No. 36 nationally.

Senior Liza Voloshyna was chosen as the Tournament MVP after posting an undefeated 3-0 mark at No. 1 doubles alongside junior Nele Weber while registering a 2-1 record at No. 2 singles. Additionally, freshmen Oriana Izarra and Laura Servien were each named to the all-tournament team after posting an unblemished record at the conference tournament.

Mount Olive clinched the doubles point to begin the championship match after producing victories at the first and third slots. In the third position, junior Jessica Aylward and Servien captured a 6-1 victory against Czarina Aguirre and Hanna Vasconez. At No. 1 doubles, Voloshyna and Weber delivered a 7-6 (7-3) win over Emma Bentz and Luiza Valtere to improve to 18-4 as a duo this season. The second doubles match was left unfinished with the match tied at 6-6.

In singles play, the Trojans claimed three of the six matches to seal consecutive league championships under second-year head coach Carlos Lora. The Flying Fleet tied the contest at 1-1 after Aylward suffered a 6-3, 6-2 loss to Vasconez in the sixth slot before Weber fell by a 6-2, 6-4 margin to Teodora Stefanovic, as Erskine grabbed the lead, 2-1. UMO countered with Voloshyna rallying to defeat Ariana Jativa 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the second position to tie the match, 2-2. Izarra followed with a straight-sets win over Valtere 7-5, 6-1 to reclaim the advantage, 3-2. Erskine answered back at No. 1 singles as senior Ingrid Montserrat was dealt a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 loss by Bentz to knot the contest at 3-3. In the deciding match, Servien recovered to defeat Aguirre by a score of 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 to capture the game-winning match for UMO, 4-3.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics