Athletics & Recreation

Pioneers women win second SBC tennis championship

The No. 28 University of Denver women’s tennis team defeated No. 51 Florida International 4-3 for the Pioneers’ second Sun Belt Conference championship at Heard Stadium on the Louisiana-Monroe campus last weekend.

DU improves to 22-2 overall and earns the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Championships May 10–12.

The Pioneers rallied from a 3-0 deficit and clinched their first SBC title since 2004 when Kyla Iwinski defeated Maria Dolores Pazo 6-7, 6-3, 6-4 at No. 5 singles in the last match of the tournament. The Pioneers also broke Florida International’s three-year championship run and extended their school record for victories.

“We are so proud of our team and their tremendous accomplishment,” DU head coach Amy Jensen says. “We needed a total team effort and the girls delivered a clutch performance today. We’re thrilled to be heading to the NCAA championships.”

FIU struck first by capturing the doubles point as the pair of Liset Brito and Egle Petrauskaite defeated DU’s Julia Bauregger and Mallory Voelker 8-1 at No. 1 and Priscilla Castillo and Maria Spenceley defeated Iwinski and Ute Schnoy 8-6 at No. 2.

Liset Brito gave FIU a 2-0 lead with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Annette Aksdal at No. 2 and the Golden Panthers pulled ahead 3-0 when Spenceley defeated Bhavani Tirumurti 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) at No. 6.

Tournament MVP Voelker began DU’s comeback with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Egle Petrauskaite at No. 1. The Pioneers picked up momentum from there winning on the No. 3 and No. 4 courts as Bauregger defeated Marijana Cutuk 7-6 (7-2), 6-1 and Schnoy defeated Priscilla Castillo 3-6, 6-4, 6-0.

The Pioneers will find out their opponent in the NCAA field when the selections are announced on ESPNews on April 29 at 1 p.m. (MT).

The men’s tennis finished second at the SBC. Read more.

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