Women's tennis team places fifth in national tournament

Women's tennis team places fifth in national tournament

The Eastern Florida State College women's tennis team wrapped up their first NJCAA Division I National Championship Tournament with a fifth-place finish in Waco, Texas.

The Titans made the quarterfinals in seven of the nine flights and sophomores Sarah Manseri and Dugleisy Linarez each lost in the semifinals on Wednesday morning at the Waco Regional Tennis Center.

"I think overall it has been a good season for only having six players," Eastern Florida State College women's tennis coach Bobby Cashman said. "We made the tournament and I think finishing in the top five this week is important, one for the brand, people have taken notice of Eastern Florida State College this week but also for recruiting, we are showing that we are a viable option for players and that will help in recruiting and growing the program."

Eastern Florida State College finished with 27 points in the 28-team field as every player won at least one match in the tournament.

Sophomore Jaime Duque lost her first match at the No. 4 singles but came back to win three straight matches in the consolation bracket to claim the title Wednesday morning with an 8-3 victory.

"She had some offers and I thought she was going to leave and I asked her to stay, I told her I was recruiting hard and she believed it and has been an integral part of the program," Cashman said. "The team will miss her, she is going to go far. I am glad she waited because now she has the opportunity to go to Harvard. I am happy for her, she has improved quite a bit this year, she has put in the work and I am happy she finished the right way."

Yuliana Monroy finishes her Titans career as the FCSAA Player of the Year as well as the region Sophomore of the Year after losing in the quarterfinals Tuesday.

"I felt bad for Yuliana (Monroy), she had a great year and just ran into a hot player (at No. 1 singles). Sarah and Dugleisy making the semifinals is a good result. I thought we would have at least one doubles team in the semis so that was a little disappointed because we practice doubles all the time, so I thought we came up a bit short but not bad overall," Cashman said.

Manseri lost to No. 1 seed Maria Genovese of Tyler Junior College in a No. 2 singles semifinal 6-2, 6-1. The sophomore from Poulx, France came in as the No. 5 seed and went 3-1 in the tournament.

Linarez fell to No. 1 seed Kalani Soli of Tyler Junior College in a No. 3 singles semifinal 6-3, 6-3. The sophomore from Barquisimeto, Venezuela was the No. 4 seed and won two matches in straight sets before Wednesday's loss.

The championship matches for each of the flights will be held on Thursday. Tyler Junior College is in first place overall heading into the final day.