Wilmington, Del. – The Le Moyne College women’s tennis team earned its first NCAA Championships victory on Friday afternoon with a 4-2 win over fourth-seeded St. Thomas Aquinas College in the first round at the Delcastle Tennis Center.

With the victory, the Dolphins advance to the second round of the East Regional and will take on top-seeded Wilmington University on Saturday at 12:00 pm at the Delcastle Tennis Center.

“Going into today it was difficult to expect to beat a team that we had previously lost to and had added a new, very good # 1 player,” said head coach Jeff Lonczak ’04. “Once again, the ladies can never be counted out. The will and determination that this team exemplifies is something that I can’t explain. The never-say-die attitude is truly something to behold. We’re ready for tomorrow!”

The Dolphins took a 1-0 lead in the match by claiming the point in the doubles competition. Senior Birdem Oz (Istanbul, Turkey / TED Ankara College Foundation HS) and junior Francesca Lilliegren (Guayaquil, Ecuador / Colegio Alemán Humboldt Guayaquil) earned the first win, 6-4, over Ebba Rosberg and Samantha Villegas Robles at the first position. Graduate student Marta Nunez (Rye, NY / Antonio Lopez (Spain)) and sophomore Fiona Pepper (Challapampa, Peru / Colegio Anglo Americano Prescott) clinched the point with a 7-5 victory at the second spot over Jemima Parkinson and Elita Silins. Freshman Isabella Barona (Manta, Ecuador / Talentos de Manta) and senior Brooke Fernandez (Shirley, NY / William Floyd) were leading 6-5 at the third position when the doubles point wa decided.

Le Moyne took a 3-0 lead in the match by winning the first wo matches in the singles competition. Nunez recorded her second win of the day, 6-2, 6-3, over Karina Blas at the third position. Oz improved to 15-1 on the year in dual matches by recording a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Viktoriia Pavlovets at the second spot.

The Spartans stayed alive in the match by earning wins at the fifth and sixth positions. Silins defeated Francesca Lilliegren at the fifth spot, 6-1, 4-6, 6-1. Mulder rallied at the sixth spot over Fernandez, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3, to get within one point.

Barona clinched the victory for the Dolphins with a 7-6, 4-6, 7-5 victory at the first position over Rosberg.

Pepper and Villegas Robles were tied at one set apiece when the decision was reached.

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