After an emotional semifinal victory over Lynn (Florida), Brigham Young University-Hawaii (BYU-H) could not overcome three-time NCAA Division II women’s tennis champs Armstrong Atlantic (Georgia) nor the virus that sent two players to the hospital and left several others exhausted and dehydrated.
BYU-H was defeated 5-1, the only victory coming by way of NCAA Division II Senior Player of the Year Jenny Chin and her doubles partner Salina Heranda.
“Jenny played the best match I’ve seen her play all year,” said head coach David Porter. “I’m happy with the way [the team] competed under the conditions we had.”
Several players caught a virus and could not keep fluids down, which left them fatigued and dehydrated. Two players were sent to the hospital, which required Porter to reshuffle his doubles pairings and other match-ups.
“This is a tournament, and that’s what happens in tournaments,” said Porter.
After overcoming a 4-1 match deficit, the Seasiders’ semifinals win came down to the last set of the last match, with the combined team scores tied 4-4. In the singles match, Chin battled severe dehydration and cramped muscles which left her unable to move effectively around the court. After calling a medical timeout, Chin caught a break when her opponent took too long to return to the match, giving coaches and trainers more time to ice her muscles. Later, as the cramping seeped in again, Chin caught another break when her opponent called for a medical timeout. According to tournament rules, only one medical timeout is awarded per player. Chin was able to recover enough during that timeout to finish her opponent and complete a dramatic comeback win for the Seasiders.
Sea Warriors eliminated in semifinals
Armstrong Atlantic, who defeated the Seasiders on Saturday on their way to their third straight championship, also eliminated Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) 5-0 on Friday in their semifinals match-up. However, it was the best finish for the Sea Warriors in recent years– the team has been eliminated in the quarterfinal round in each of the last three seasons.
“We did very well, it was our best performance yet,” said head coach Stefan Pampulov. “It was our goal to make it to the semifinals.”
Pampulov also said he considered the season a success, citing individual awards by Aleksandra Stankovic, with the Arthur Ashe Award, and Zora Vlckova, who was named the number six singles player in the nation. Vlckova’s award was the highest ever achieved by an HPU women’s tennis player.
Men’s teams eliminated in first round
The tournament was not as successful for the men’s teams. Both HPU and BYU-H men’s tennis teams were invited to the tournament, and both lost in the opening round. The HPU men’s team was especially disappointed with the result, as the team has had a strong program in recent years.
“Hopefully we will be even stronger next season,” said Pampulov of his men’s and women’s teams. He said he will have several top players return next season and he looks forward to working with some fresh faces.