Atlantic Sun Summer Sessions: Tennis

Friday, July 13, 2012

MACON, Ga. – The finals of the Atlantic Sun Tennis Championship featured two programs as North Florida and ETSU faced off in both the men’s and women’s matches.

The Ospreys outdueled the defending champion Buccaneers for the women's title even though the Lady Bucs put up a valiant effort as the finale came down to the last two singles matches before North Florida prevailed 4-2. UNF claimed its second A-Sun Championship title in three years.

For the sixth-straight season, ETSU claimed the A-Sun men’s title with a 4-1 triumph against the Ospreys. The string of titles is the longest run in A-Sun history. With the win, the Bucs earned the A-Sun’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament where they faced Ohio State, but fell to the Buckeyes 4-0.

Stetson’s Maksim Levonovich was named Player of the Year and Scholar-Athlete of the Year as he led the Hatters to a 7-2 conference mark. On the women’s side, the Hatters finished 2012 with a 6-3 record with losses coming from the top-three seeds, UNF, ETSU and FGCU. Stetson put up an impressive showing in the championship semifinals, nearly ousting eventual champion North Florida in a close matchup, 4-2.

FGCU continued to make strides on the tennis courts where the women’s tennis team tied the program record for most conference wins (6; 2010). The men’s team more than doubled their win total from last season after posting seven in 2012. Both Eagle squads made their debuts at the A-Sun Championship this season with the women’s team advancing to the semifinals.

Kennesaw State’s women’s squad posted its second-straight winning season and earned the five seed in the conference championship, while USC Upstate’s men’s team appeared in its first A-Sun Championship and earned a place in the semifinals following quarterfinals victory.

North Florida’s perfect 9-0 record in A-Sun play is the fourth occurrence on the women’s side in the past six seasons with ETSU (2006, 2010) and USC Upstate (2008) also achieving the feat. The men’s side has seen an undefeated season in six of the past seven seasons including this year’s ETSU squad (9-0).

Additional Notes:
• The North Florida women’s doubles teams put up one of the most dominating performances in A-Sun tennis history this season, finishing the conference season with a 27-0 record.
• North Florida’s No. 1 doubles duo of Aline Berkenbrock and Lorena Aviles secured a No. 73 national doubles ranking by the ITA to end the season.
• During the course of the season three A-Sun men’s tennis teams earned national rankings with UNF topping at 50th, ETSU at No. 58 and Stetson at No. 59. In the March 27th release of the ITA Rankings all three teams were ranked.
• North Florida’s Berkenbrock won the Player of the Year honors, while ETSU’s Paula Jaime was named the A-Sun Women’s Tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

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The Atlantic Sun Conference is an NCAA Division I league with 10 member institutions committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun meets the challenge of maintaining the highest standards in academic and athletic achievement with a true balance between student and athlete. 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: East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, Northern Kentucky University, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.