NEW ORLEANS, La. – Fourth seeded Alcorn State and third seeded Southern were the first teams to advance on day one of the 2017 SWAC Women’s Tennis Tournament played at the Pepsi Tennis Center on Friday.
The SWAC defending champion Lady Braves clinched their match with a 4-0 sweep against No. 6 Grambling State after taking two of three matches in doubles competition to snag the first point and then won three singles matches behind No.1 player and freshman Daria Chemodanova, No. 5 player and SWAC Freshman of the Year Anastasia Vaganova, and No. 6 player and sophomore Marlene Maier.
The Alcorn State duo of Chemodanova and Natalia Parchowska won their No. 1 doubles match in convincing fashion, 6-0, over Grambling State’s pairing of Tanyaradzwa Magunje and Danna Galeano.
After the Lady Tigers rallied back to even the doubles competition behind a win from Phonephateph Philavvong and Bryttish Burts over Bianca Birkenstock and Vaganova (6-1), the Lady Braves secured the point with a doubles victory at the No. 3 spot from Maier/Veronika Pytlikova over Anastaysa Reshetnikova (7-5).
Chemodanova, Vaganova and Maier each won in straight sets in singles competition.
Alcorn State advances to play against No. 1 seed Alabama State on Saturday at 9 a.m.
In the other quarterfinal match, Southern topped Prairie View A&M 4-0 by also winning two of three matches in doubles play and wins at the singles level from No. 2 Darnesha Moore, No. 3 Rufaro Chirewa and No. 4 Tanaka Chakanyuka.
The Jaguars No. 2 doubles duo of Chirewa and Moore pulled out a 6-4 win against the Lady Panthers Sydney Thomas and Tatiana Ruhl and followed it up with a 6-2 win at the No. 3 position as D’Jeri Raymond teamed with Mia Kent to top Shaddae Findley and Trinity Randolph.
PVAM won the No. 1 doubles spot as Neharika Rama and Stacy Lackey defeated Stephanie Mbaya and Tanaka Chakanuyka 6-4.
In singles play, Moore needed three sets to beat Lackey (6-2, 3-6, 6-2) at the No. 2 position. Chirewa bested Thomas in straight sets (7-5, 6-1) and Chakanyuka won the No. 5 match up by rallying back for a 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (5) squeaker over Findley.
Southern will advance to play against No. 2 seed Jackson State on Saturday beginning at 9 a.m.