COLUMBUS, GA – Sophomore Marie Krueger and freshman Theresa Hammerschlag picked up singles wins after Francis Marion University swept all three doubles matches and the 28th-ranked and fourth-seeded Patriots blanked 22nd-ranked and fifth-seeded University of North Georgia, Monday afternoon (May 1) in the semifinals of the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional #1 in Columbus, Ga.
Francis Marion improves to 14-8 and advances to face fourth-ranked and top-seeded Columbus State University (23-2) on Tuesday at 1 p.m. in the regional title match at the John W. Walden CSU Tennis Complex. CSU defeated eighth-seeded University of Mount Olive on Monday 5-0.
This marks the ninth time in the past 11 years that the Patriot women have reached the regional championship match. Tuesday's winner advances to the Sweet 16 National Championships, May 10-13, in Altamonte Springs, Fla.
In a battle of regionally ranked duos, FMU senior Samantha Koelliker and Krueger (#5) defeated UNG's Kathrin Waidner and Felicia Barrata (#7) 8-5 at the top doubles spot to give Francis Marion a 1-0 advantage. That win pushed Koelliker into sole possession of third place on the program's all-time doubles wins list with a 68-22 mark.
FMU senior Eva Lieben and sophomore Anilu Barraza Araiza earned an 8-6 win at the No.2 spot and junior Sofia Henning and sophomore Anna Wintrich completed the doubles sweet with an 8-6 victory at the No.3 position.
Krueger registered a 6-3, 5-3 win at No.3 singles before Hammerschlag clinched the victory with a 6-3, 6-4 win at the No.6 position. FMU was leading in three of the remaining four singles contests when the match ended.
Match Notes: North Georgia 20-7; National ranking #22; Regional ranking #4 Francis Marion University 14-8; National ranking #28; Regional ranking #5 Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (3,6) NCAA Tournament - Southeast Regional #1 ; Seeds #4 Francis Marion vs. #5 North Georgia T-3:29 A-27