LAKELAND, Fla. – The Saint Leo women’s tennis team (8-15) captured the seventh-place match at the Sunshine State Conference Tournament, defeating the Eckerd College Tritons (3-14) 5-3, Saturday afternoon from the Dave Beerman Tennis Facility.
The Lions took two-of-three matches in doubles play, before upending the Tritons in three singles matches to secure seventh-place in the SSC. It is the first team victory in the SSC Tournament since the 2007-08 season.
The Lions compiled crucial point’s right from the start with the Lions’ No. 1 and No. 3 doubles’ teams claiming convincing wins. Jeanette McDonald joined senior Shaena Keefe in sweeping the Eckerd pair of Emmy Laing and Amanda Teets, 8-0. At No. 3 doubles, Christine Clyne and senior Gina Schifano overpowered the Eckerd pair of Christine Hammerschmidt and Sonnet Ludwig, 8-3.
The Lions two seniors stepped up again in singles action, helping solidify the win. Schifano gave the Lions their third point of the afternoon with a straight-sets victory over Marion Ironside. The Tampa, Fla. native edged Ironside by the score of 7-6 in the first set and quickly wrapped-up the match with a 6-2 second-set win.
Keefe added to the Lions’ advantage with another straight-sets win over her opponent, winning by the scores of 6-3, 6-1.
However, it was a newcomer, freshman Tamara Bustard, who decided the match with a forceful 6-1, 6-1 straight-sets win at No. 6 singles.
The Lions will return to action in the fall of 2010. It also marked the final matches of both Gina Schifano and Shaena Keefe. Schifano was a four-year member of the Green & Gold, while Keefe dawned the Lions uniform for three seasons.