SAVANNAH, Ga. - The No. 5-ranked and two-time defending NCAA Division II national champion Armstrong State University women's tennis team is headed to the NCAA Round of 16 for the 23rd and final time after the Pirates defeated No. 8 Flagler, 5-2, in the Southeast Region #2 final on Tuesday.
The Pirates (24-4) have been a part of the NCAA's Round of 16 every year since 1995, the year that Armstrong State won the first of its record 10 Division II women's tennis national championships. With Tuesday's win, Armstrong State will open up action at the Round of 16 on Wednesday, May 10th, taking on Central Region #1 champion and No. 16-ranked Northeastern State at Noon. Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, Fla., is the host for the championships.
Armstrong State won two of three doubles matches from Flagler (20-5) to take a 2-1 lead heading into singles play. The No. 2-ranked duo of junior Lena Lutzeier and senior Diana Stomlega defeated Lizanne Jinkertz and Patrycja Maslanka, 8-3, at No. 1 doubles, while sophomore Alice Patch and junior Tamri Chalaganidze downed Hilary Hanton and Felicitas Runkel, 8-5, at No. 3 doubles. Flagler's Kelly Burge and Mary Jo Nanti beat freshman Tatjana Stoll and junior Lenka Styblova, 8-2, at No. 2 doubles for the Saints' doubles point.
In singles play, the Pirates won the first set in five of the six singles matches. No. 4-ranked Lutzeier picked up the first singles win with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Nanti at No. 1 singles. Flagler's Jinkertz made the team score 3-2 after a 6-1, 6-2 win over Stoll at No. 2 singles.
Patch then defeated Maslanka, 6-2, 6-3, at No. 4 singles, then Stomlega clinched the berth into the Round of 16 with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Burge at No. 3 singles.