With the opportunity to rest and scout their opposition during day one play yesterday, the second-seeded Charlotte women's tennis team took out 10-seed Saint Louis 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Atlantic 10 Conference Championships at the Boars Head Sports Club Friday afternoon. The win improves Charlotte's season mark to 16-5 overall, ending the Billikens' season at 12-10. Charlotte advances to Saturday's semifinal against 3-seed Richmond at 1 p.m.
As it has now 17 times this season, Charlotte took the opening point of the match by virtue of winning in doubles. The doubles matches were close, with the numbers one and three matches finishing 9-7. Charlotte's number-two pairing of junior Anna Ekelund (Lomma, Sweden) and freshman Lisa Grosselius (Molndal, Sweden) started the day with an 8-3 win. The victory pushed the duo to 20 wins this year (20-2) and three in a row. Sophomore Dominica Nemec (Calgary, Canada) and freshman Natsuko Takayanagi (Fukui, Japan) clinched the doubles point in the 9-7 nail biter at number three. The pair is 14-11 together in 2012.
In singles, the 49ers won three of the five completed matches to advance to the semis. Charlotte went up 2-0 when Ekelund won at number five 6-1, 6-1. The win was her third straight and pushed her season record to 16-8, including a 10-4 mark at number five this season.
The Billikens took the next two singles matches to tie the score, but Takayanagi helped Charlotte to re-take the lead with a 6-1, 7-5 win at number three for her team-leading 23rd victory of the season. She is one win away from tying for the second-most singles wins for a freshman in program history and needs three more for the all-time single-season record of 26, set by freshman Ana Spivakovsky in 2007.
The match was clinched by Charlotte's lone senior Andrea Rivera (Lima, Peru), who needed a third-set to win, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 for her 15th singles win. She is 11-6 at number two this season.
The 49ers get a rematch with the Spiders for a chance at the program's second A-10 Championship Final to play for its first league title. Charlotte won 4-3 at Richmond on April 6th.