April 27, 2008
Northwest Takes Second; Vucenov New No. 1
TOPEKA, Kan.-Southwest Baptist trailed 2-1 after doubles play, but took four of five singles victories to score a 5-3 win against Northwest Missouri State and capture its first MIAA team championship Sunday on the campus of Washburn University.
Second-seeded Southwest Baptist (16-7) avenged a 6-3 loss at home to Northwest earlier in the season. SBU won the battle of the Bearcats by scoring key victories at No. 2, No. 5 and No. 6 singles - matches that went in Northwest's favor in the previous meeting.
Northwest senior Kristina Vucenov set a school record by earning her 28th victory in singles play this season. Vucenov beat Jolee Cook in straight sets, 6-4, 6-0, to improve to 28-4 and surpass Yasmine Osborn's mark of 27 wins set in 1997.
Lisa Pendrak and Carolina Amaral upset SBU's fourth-ranked doubles team regionally at No. 1 doubles, 8-3. The Bearcats earned their second point on an 8-1 win at No. 3 doubles by Jordan Lipira and Lina Gomez.
Southwest Baptist overcame the deficit by scoring four, straight-set victories in singles play. Vucenov earned the Bearcats third and final point. The No. 4 singles match was unfinished.
Southwest Baptist earns the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament with the win. Northwest is expected to make the field, but must now wait until Wednesday, April 30, to view the sites and pairings.
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