Vikings Win Fourth Straight NSIC Tennis Title
MINNETONKA, Minn. – For the fourth straight year Augustana won the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Tournament championship when they defeated second-seeded University of Mary 5-0 on Sunday afternoon. The Vikings (23-1) earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Central Region Tournament and all but sealed up one of the top two rankings to host a portion of the tournament.
The Vikings cruised to a spot in the finals with a pair of 5-1 wins over Minnesota State and Winona State in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, respectively. In the championship dual, the Vikings didn’t even surrender a match to No. 2-seeded U-Mary (14-4) as they locked up their fourth straight NSIC Tournament title and fifth consecutive NCAA postseason berth.
Fueling the way to their 15th straight win, Augustana swept the doubles matches, including a pair of shut out wins at No. 1 and 3 doubles — both Viking pairings finished the NSIC Tournament undefeated. Katie Jesperson and Jessa Richards got the Vikings off to a quick start with an 8-0 victory in the top doubles match.
Jenna Helleberg and Meredith Lawrence quickly followed suit, taking down the U-Mary No. 3 pairing by an 8-0 margin. Christine Olivo and Heather Sullivan then shook off their two previous losses to complete the sweep by winning 8-4 in the No. 2 doubles match.
With only two more victories needed to clinch their championship, Richards and Lawrence continued their dominant tournament runs for Augustana’s win. Richards earned the fourth win with a 6-0, 6-1 victory at No. 2 singles and Lawrence finished her conference tournament undefeated at No. 6 singles with a 6-1, 6-0 win.
Augustana now turns their focus to the NCAA Central Tournament where they were slotted as the No. 2 team in last week’s rankings. The Vikings will be joined by the Southwest Baptist (Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Associaion) and Harding (Great American Conference) who won their conference tournaments. The top two teams will each host a portion of the regional the final brackets will be decided on Tuesday on the Division II Women’s Tennis Selection Show that can be viewed on NCAA.com/LiveSchedule at 7:30 p.m.
Courtesy: Augustana College