April 17, 2005
DeLAND, FL - For the second time in three years, Florida Atlantic University is the Atlantic Sun Conference champion. FAU (9-10) defeated Stetson, 4-3, Sunday on the Hatters' home court to earn the title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The match came down to a pair of dramatic third-set tiebreakers in singles.
Early on, the teams squared off in doubles play with Stetson (16-7) winning the first match at no. 3. FAU came back to even things when Alena Dvorakova and Elodie Wendling paired up at no. 1 to defeat Maja Miladinovic and Mili Milovanovic, 8-2. The Owls clinched the first point of the match when Katherine Bartnik and Veronika Koksova easily defeated Catherine Candy and Marina Levin, 8-1, at no. 2.
The Owls led 1-0 heading into singles before Anna Leonenko defeated FAU's Pia Terol, 6-1, 6-2, to even the score at 1-1.
Dvorakova quickly gave FAU the lead back when she handled Jackie Bohannon, 6-1, 6-2, at no. 1 to make it 2-1. The Hatters then tied it when Levin defeated Wendling at no. 4.
Stetson took its first lead of the match after Miladinoivic defeated Bartnik in three sets at no. 3. At that point, Stetson led FAU 3-2 with two matches left to finish. That's where the drama began both matches coming down to fateful third sets.
At no. 2, Koksova and Milovanovic each had split 6-3 decisions to set up the third set. The final frame would go into a tiebreaker, one that Koksova would win, 8-6, to tie the match at 3-3.
The championship would come down to Claudia Kecht and Canady at no. 5. Kecht had won the first set, 6-4, before Candy came back with a 6-2 victory in the second set. Like the match at no. 2, this one would come down to a tiebreaker. Kecht, a freshman from Ruhpolding, Germany, would win the tiebreaker 7-5, clinching the championship for the Owls.
Florida Atlantic will now await the announcement of the 64-team NCAA Tournament field on May 4. The selection show will be televised on ESPNews and will begin at approximately 4:30pm EDT. First and second round action takes place May 13-14 at 16 different sites.
No. 4 Florida Atlantic 4, No. 3 Stetson 3
1. Alena Dvorakova (FAU) d. Jackie Bohannon (SU) 6-1, 6-2.
2. Veronika Koksova (FAU) d. Mili Milovanovic (STET) 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (8-6).
3. Maja Miladinovic (STET) d. Katherine Bartnik (FAU) 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.
4. Marina Levin (STET) d. Elodie Wendling (FAU) 6-4, 6-4.
5. Claudia Kecht (FAU) d. Catherine Canady (STET) 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7-5).
6. Anna Leonenko (STET) d. Pia Terol (FAU) 6-1, 6-2.
1. Dvorakova/Wendling (FAU) d. Miladinovic/Milovanovic (SU) 8-2.
2. Bartnik/Koksova (FAU) Candy/Levin (SU) 8-1.
3. Bohannon/Leonenko (SU) d. Kecht/Terol (FAU) 8-0.