BOWIE, Md. – A clutch performance that likely saved their championship run, the Shaw University women's tennis team came through when it mattered the most, downing No. 1 seed Chowan University Saturday afternoon in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Women's Tennis Championship by the score of 5-3 at the Fairland Sports & Aquatic Center.
What's so ironic about Saturday's championship match was that when the Lady Bears won their last CIAA championship, it was against the Hawks in which Shaw won by the score of 5-3 on April 20, 2013. Chowan (20-9, 14-1 CIAA) was the only team that beat Shaw during the regular season.
Shaw won two-of-three doubles before clinching three singles. All-CIAA Daniela Vanko (Montreal, Quebec) was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.
The Lady Bears (21-2, 13-1 CIAA) took a 2-1 lead after doubles competition. Chowan tied the contest at 2-2 after Teodora Jovanovic (Nis, Serbia) suffered a 6-1, 6-3 loss at the No. 2 singles. The Hawks took a 3-2 edge when Marilyne Kamegne (Yaounde, Cameroon) fell at the No. 3 singles, 6-1, 6-4 and 12-10 in a hard fought battle but Shaw would win the next three singles, including a 4-6, 6-2, 10-8 triumph win from Vanko at the No. 1 singles while Andrijana Martic (Belgrade, Serbia) won 6-1, 6-4 at the No. 4 spot and Simbiat Aleem (Lagos, Nigeria) earned a 6-0, 6-1 victory at the No. 5 singles for the championship crown.
With an automatic bid in the NCAA Tournament, Shaw will now await seeding for the NCAA Regional Tournament which is scheduled to begin on Monday, April 24. The NCAA Women's Tennis Tournament Selection Show will be aired at www.ncaacom on Tuesday, April 25 at 8:30 p.m.
For the most up-to-date information on Shaw women's tennis and its 13 varsity sport teams, please visit www.shawbears.com.