MELBOURNE, Fla. - The Sunshine State Conference Women's Tennis Tournament begins on Thursday, April 19th with the University of Tampa among the eight teams battling in quarterfinal action. All tournament matches will be hosted Lynn University at IMG Academy in Bradenton.
After finishing the regular season with a 10-8 record, head coach Al DuFaux's squad won four SSC matches to earn a spot in the tournament. Among UT's top victories in league play was a 6-3 triumph over then-No. 22 Florida Tech. Tampa also defeated Eckerd, Embry-Riddle and Palm Beach Atlantic. UT's lineup is led by junior No. 1 singles player Caroline Lozo, who has notched three wins from her number one spot this season. Vanina Iordanova and Maddie Stephens each have three wins at number two singles, while Iordanova is also 5-2 at the three-singles spot. Freshman Corbin Dorsey leads the squad in wins, going a combined 15-3 while splitting time between number four and five singles. Lilley Nice is 12-5 overall for the Spartans, playing both three and four singles.
The Spartans have also found success in doubles play, led by the number-one duo of Dorsey and Lozo. The pair is 7-5 from the top spot, also going 1-1 against nationally-ranked opponents. Iordanova and Stephens are 10-8 overall from two doubles while the three-team of Emily Hewland and Nice are 10-3.
After a fourth regular-season title in five years, Barry University (20-0, 10-0) has earned the No. 1 seed in the SSC postseason tournament. The Buccaneers went undefeated in overall and conference play for the second consecutive year. Lynn University (17-3, 9-1) takes the No. 2 seed, while Florida Southern College (14-6, 7-3) edges Saint Leo University (16-5, 7-3) for the No. 3 seed. The Moccasins captured the head-to-head tiebreaker after defeating the Lions, 5-4, on February 21st in Saint Leo.
Rollins College (13-8, 6-4) earns the No. 5 Seed in the 2018 tournament. The Tars have continued to improve their conference win-percentage each of the last three years. Nova Southeastern University (8-13, 5-5) locks in in the No. 6 seed following a .500 season in-conference. Rounding out the field is the University of Tampa (10-8, 4-6) and Florida Tech (14-6, 4-6). The Spartans earn the No. 7 seed over the Panthers following 6-3 regular-season win on March 30th in Tampa.
All quarterfinal matches will be played at 10:00 AM on Thursday, April 19th, while the semifinals will take place at 10:00 AM on Friday, April 20th. The Championship final and third-place match start at 9:00 AM on Saturday, April 21.
In the national poll, Barry is ranked No. 1 with Lynn right behind at No. 4. Saint Leo, Florida Southern, Rollins, Florida Tech, Nova Southeastern University, and the University of Tampa, rank No. 9, No. 12, No. 21, No. 23, No. 30, and No. 32, respectively.
Barry and Lynn lead the SSC with three women's tennis national titles each. Last year, Barry defeated Lynn in an All-SSC national championship. The bout was a rematch of the 2011 national title. As a member of the SSC, North Florida took home one national title (1994).