MELBOURNE, FL - For the second straight year, Florida Southern has earned the number three seed in the 2018 SSC Women's Tennis Tournament which will be held April 19-21 at the IMG Academy in Bradenton.
The Moccasins finished the conference season tied with Saint Leo for third place in the conference with a 7-3 record, but the Moccasins topped the Lions, 5-4, on the road on Feb. 21 to win the tiebreaker for seeding purposes. Overall, Florida Southern is 14-6 on the season and sports a #12 ranking in the NCAA Division II as compiled by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
Florida Southern will take on sixth-seeded Nova Southeastern as all four opening quarterfinal matches will be held on Thursday, April 19 at 10 a.m. The Moccasins were upset by the Sharks, 5-4, on Mar. 17 in Lakeland. Nova Southeastern sports an 18-3 overall record and a 5-5 mark in the SSC.
Other quarterfinal pairings include #1 Barry (20-0, 10-0 SSC) vs. #8 Florida Tech (14-6, 4-6); #2 Lynn (17-3, 9-1) vs. #7 Tampa (10-8, 4-6); and #4 Saint Leo (15-5, 7-3) vs. #5 Rollins (13-8, 6-4). The semifinals will be contested on Friday, April 20 at 10 a.m. with the championship match slated for 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 21.
The Moccasins took third place at the 2017 SSC Tournament, opening with a 5-1 win over Saint Leo in the quarterfinals before falling, 5-0, to second-seeded Lynn in the semifinals. FSC rebounded to defeat Rollins 5-3 in the third-place match.
Natalija Popovic leads Florida Southern with a 15-5 record while Magda Stepnik sports a 12-8 mark. Four Mocs have nine wins including Avery Hunter (9-0), Lola Asis (9-7), Selin Devrimci (9-7), and Lorena Rionda (9-8).
Barry, the defending SSC Tournament champion, defeated Lynn, 5-0, to win the 2017 NCAA Division II national championship.
In the national poll, Barry, which has won 50 matches in a row over the last two seasons, is ranked No. 1 with Lynn right behind at No. 4, followed by #9 Saint Leo, #12 Florida Southern, #21 Rollins, #23 Florida Tech, #30 Nova Southeastern, and #32 Tampa.
Lynn leads the SSC with three women's tennis national titles. Barry is close behind at two, winning the most recent title for an SSC member in 2014. In 2011, Barry defeated Lynn for their first tennis national title in the only All-SSC national championship match. As a member of the SSC, North Florida took home one national title (1994). Barry women fell to No. 1 Armstrong in the 2015 national championship match.