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No. 21 Tigers Blank South Alabama, Advance to NCAA Second Round Saturday

No. 21 Tigers Blank South Alabama, Advance to NCAA Second Round Saturday

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The 21st-ranked Clemson women’s tennis team improved to 14-0 in NCAA First Round matches over the last 14 years with a 4-0 win over South Alabama on Friday afternoon in Tuscaloosa, Ala. With the win, the Tigers improved to 17-9 on the season, while the Sun Belt Champion Jaguars finished the season at 21-3.

Clemson jumped out to early leads on all three doubles courts. The Tigers’ No. 3 doubles duo, Joana Eidukonyte and Daniela Ruiz, defeated their South Alabama counterparts, 8-1.  Clemson’s top doubles team, fourth-ranked Beatrice Gumulya and Jessy Rompies, and the No. 2 pair of Romy Koelzer and Yuilynn Miao were both winning on their courts, but ultimately Koelzer and Miao clinched the doubles point for the Tigers with an 8-2 victory. Gumulya and Rompies were leading 6-3 when play was halted. The Tigers handed South Alabama their first loss of the season in the doubles point, as the Jaguars were 23-0 entering the match.

With a 1-0 lead, five Tigers won their first sets in singles to keep the momentum on Clemson’s side. Gumulya, ranked 60th nationally, gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead with a 6-1, 6-2 win at No. 2, which was immediately followed by Rompies’ 6-3, 6-2 victory a No. 4. With the singles victories, Gumulya improved to 27-9 (18-6 in dual matches), and Rompies improved to 24-7 (17-5 in dual matches) on the season. Eidukonyte claimed a 6-2, 6-2 win in her match at No. 3 singles to clinch the 4-0 victory for the Tigers. Eidukonyte, who is the 12th-ranked singles player in the nation, is now 34-6 overall in singles and 21-3 in dual matches in 2014-15.

With Friday’s win, the Tigers advance to the NCAA Championships Second Round on Saturday, where they face the winner of regional-host and No. 1-seed Alabama and No. 4-seed Samford. First serve for the match is set for 1 p.m. CT (2 p.m. ET) in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

[View the story “Clemson vs. South Alabama, NCAA First Round” on Storify]