Posted with permission, article and pictures, courtesy of Hawaii Pacific University
ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – The No. 10 Hawai’i Pacific University women season came to an end on Wednesday with a 4-0 loss to No. 2 Nova Southeastern in the quarterfinals of the 2022 NCAA Division II Tennis Championships at Sanlando Park.
The No. 10 HPU Sharks (17-9), seeded fifth in the national bracket, fought back against the No. 2 NSU Sharks (25-3), seeded fourth, after dropping the doubles point. The teams also had to battle a lightning delay of nearly an hour that interrupted the match.
Nova took the doubles with Karolina Snita and Zala Dovnik winning at No. 3 against Valentina Mokrova and Marta Ruszczynska 6-1, then picking up the win at No. 2 as Julie Razafindranaly and Nika Kozar stopped Elodie Busson and Mihoki Miyahara 6-3. The battle between the No. 1s went unfinished with NSU’s second ranked Natalie Espinal and Chantal Nosievici leading HPU’s ninth ranked duo of Shaline Pipa and Marleen Tilgner 5-3.
Once again, Pipa was pulled from singles, moving up the lineup.
Nova got off to a strong start winning first sets at nearly all positions before lightning from pop-up storms in the area caused a delay over Sanlando Park that lasted nearly an hour.
When it cleared NSU won at No. 6 with 19th ranked Nika Kozar beating Rikona Murakami 6-1, 6-0.
That’s when the HPU Sharks started fighting back.
After falling in the opening set 6-3 to second ranked Espinal at No. 2 singles, 20th ranked Tilgner fought through the second before dropping a 7-5 decision to give Nova a 3-0 lead.
The biggest battle came at the No. 1 position, where HPU’s 34th ranked Busson came back from a 2-6 first set loss to fourth ranked Razafindranaly to win 7-5 in the second. But in the third it was Razafindranaly who picked up the final two games after the set was tied at 4-all to win 6-4 and clinch the match.
At the No. 3 spot, Miyahara dropped the first set to 44th ranked Snita 6-0, but rallied back to take the second set to 6-6 and was tied a 4-4 in the tiebreaker when play was halted. At No. 4, Mokrova split with Dovnik 3-6, 6-4, but was trailing 0-3 when play ended. At No. 5, Ruszczynska split with Nosievici 5-7, 6-4, but was down 0-3 when play was halted.
The Sharks successful season came to an end with their sixth straight appearance in the NCAA Division II Quarterfinals and 23rd consecutive appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament.