USC Upstate freshman paces Spartans in Statesboro

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

MACON, Ga. – Francisca Valderrama paced USC Upstate with both singles and doubles wins as the Spartans edged out the Georgia Southern Eagles, 4-3, on Sunday. For her performance, Valderrama claimed the first Player of the Week award of her career, the conference office announced Wednesday.

With fellow freshman teammate Monica Pezzotti, Valderrama, a Santiago, Chile native, downed Ali Beavers and Kristi Kegerreis, 9-7, at No. I doubles, but the Spartans lost the split-decision point. However, Valderrama gave USC Upstate the momentum back by posting a 6-2, 6-2 win against Natalie Maffett at No. 2 singles to tie the match, helping the Spartans go on to the win.

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The Atlantic Sun Conference is an 11-member league committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun stands for achievement with integrity in both the academic and athletic arenas, with a focus on the balance between the two for our student-athletes. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun boasts six of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Belmont University, Campbell University, East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.

Other Top Performers
Shannon Gunning, Stetson (So. - No. 4/5 Singles, No. 3 Doubles - Boca Raton, Fla. - Undeclared) – Gunning stands as Stetson's most dominant player for her performance during the Hatters’ road sweep of FAU and FGCU last weekend, dropping just six total games in four sets in singles and teaming with last week’s A-Sun Player of the Week Unnati Purushotham for two convincing (8-2, 8-4) doubles wins. The Boca Raton, Fla. native beat FAU's Natasha Basma, 6-2, 6-0 on Saturday in her hometown and then bounced FGCU's Katherine Evans on Sunday in Fort Myers, 6-3, 6-1.

Borislava Nikolova, Campbell (So. - No.4 Singles, No. 2 Doubles - Sofia, Bulgaria – International Business) – Nikolova earned a 6-3, 6-1 victory against Charleston Southern's Angie Torres. The international business major teamed with teammate Lisa Sutton to earn Campbell's only double victory on the afternoon versus Makhova/Dzakovic, 8-0.

Priscilla Villemond, FGCU (Sr. - No. 4 Singles - Les Bordes, France - Marketing) – Despite a 4-3 loss to the preseason conference favorite Stetson Hatters, Villemond played a strong match for the FGCU Eagles at No. 4 singles. The Les Bordes, France native defeated Breanna Atkinson in one of three singles victories for FGCU, 6-3, 6-3.