Lady Tigers Advance to Elite Eight

The 12th-seeded Clemson women's tennis team defeated fifth-seeded Northwestern by a score of 4-3 to advance to the round of eight at the NCAA Women's Tennis Team Championships played on the McWhorter Courts at the University of Georgia's Dan Magill Tennis Center.

The Tigers will face ACC foe North Carolina in an 11:00 AM match on Friday, May 20. This is the third time in program history that the Tigers will play in the Elite Eight. With the win, Clemson improves to 21-8 overall.

"The team showed great poise today," said Clemson head coach Nancy Harris.

"This is definitely a legacy team. At any point in today's match, it looked like either team could win. The difference was our will to win. This team really wanted it and would not be defeated.

"It was one of the great matches that Clemson has played. We struggled throughout the year and it was wonderful to see them finally have the opportunity to reach their potential."

The match came down to a classic battle at the flight one singles position, as second-ranked Julie Coin and fourth-ranked Audra Cohen dueled it out for the rights for their respective teams to advance to the round of eight. Cohen claimed the first set by a score of 6-3, but Coin rebounded to claim the second set by the same score. In the decisive set, Coin led 4-0 until Cohen fought back to cut the advantage to 4-3. Coin held serve to win the eighth game of the set and take a 5-3 lead. The Wildcats' Cohen held her serve to stay in the match, then it was up to Clemson's Coin to hold serve for the win. On her third match point of the day, Coin avenged an earlier-season loss to Cohen with a 6-4 victory.

Northwestern entered singles play with a 1-0 advantage. The Tigers' duo of Daniela Alvarez and Maria Brito dropped an 8-1 decision to the Wildcats' Alexis Prousis and Kristi Roemer at flight two. Clemson evened the doubles matches with an equally lopsided 8-1 win at flight one, as Clemson's 12th-ranked and top-seeded tandem of Julie Coin and Alix Lacelarie easily upset second-ranked Audra Cohen and Cristelle Grier of Northwestern. The flight three match was the tie-breaker, with the Wildcats' Valerie Vladea and Fereil Esseghir defeating the Tigers' Romy Farah and Carol Salge by a score of 8-4.

In singles action, Northwestern increased its lead to 2-0 as the Wildcats' 76th-ranked Alexis Prousis defeated Alix Lacelarie of Clemson at flight three by a score of 6-1, 6-4. Clemson picked up its first point of the match at flight five singles as Daniela Alvarez defeated the Wildcats' Andrea Young by a score of 6-1, 6-3. Carol Salge knotted the match score at 2-2 with her 6-1, 6-2 victory over Alexis Conill of Northwestern at flight six. Northwestern took a 3-2 lead after Cristelle Grier defeated Clemson's Romy Farah in three sets by a score of 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

At flight four, Maria Brito tied the match again at 3-3 with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 victory over Northwestern's Valerie Vladea.

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