Saint Leo notebook: Tennis teams play in SSC tournament
ST. LEO -
The Saint Leo men’s and women’s tennis teams are having success this week in the Sunshine State Conference Tournament in Boca Raton.
Both squads advanced to Friday’s semifinals after notching victories on Thursday. Then the women made it to today’s final against Barry.
On Thursday, the women, ranked seventh in Division II, defeated Florida Tech 5-1, while the 15th-ranked men also defeated the Panthers by the same score.
The men won at No. 3, 4 and 5 singles and Nos. 2 and 3 doubles to close out the Panthers. They only lost at No. 1 doubles and the other matches were halted when the Lions earned the clinching point. Victor Lozier, Matt Nicholson-Lewis and Ismail Lemtouni were the singles victors.
The women’s squad swept all three doubles matches against Florida Tech. Maria Benkirane and Pauline Helgesson (8-4), Emily Singleton and Laura Kemkes (8-2) and Coralie Pesenti and Adrianna Daszkiewicz (8-5) gave the Lions the advantage, heading into singles.
Though Saint Leo’s No. 1 singles player lost in straight sets, Phoebe Di Leo gave the Lions the clinching point at No. 6 singles.
Friday, the women were led by the singles play of Benkirane, Daskiewicz and Singleton, who earned victories. That overcame the early deficit of losing two of three doubles matches.
The men’s match against Lynn on Friday was not complete by press time.
Still in first for softball team The softball team (34-14, 14-4 SSC) maintained their lead in the SSC standings with a three-game sweep of Eckerd last weekend.
The Lions now turn their attention to a three-game series at Lynn (19-25, 5-13 SSC) starting today in Boca Raton.
Saint Leo outscored Eckerd by a combined 29-5 during the sweep. Sarah Steiner hit .778 with nine RBIs in the series.
The Lions lead Tampa by one game in the standings, but the Spartans won two of three in their only series against Saint Leo. There are only six games remaining, including Saint Leo’s regular-season finale next week against Florida Southern.
Baseball team also sweeps The baseball team (28-12, 8-7) got a much-needed sweep of Eckerd, as well, last weekend.
The Lions face Rollins (19-17, 6-9) this weekend as they try to earn a berth in the NCAA II regional after the regular season. But they would need a near-perfect finish to do so.
Dillon Vitale was named SSC and South Region player of the week after his two-homer week last week, while Rick Teasley garnered SSC Pitcher of the Week honors.
Correspondent Bart O’Connell can be reached at [email protected] He can be followed on Twitter @BartOTrib.