Ripoll, Sailfish Tame Lions in Women's Tennis

Written By: Ron Kotouch, PBA Sports Information Graduate Assistant

SAINT LEO, Fla.- On Saturday afternoon, the Sailfish women’s tennis team traveled to Saint Leo University to take on the Lions in a NCAA South Region battle.  The Lions looked to avenge an early season 7-2 loss to the Sailfish, but the Fish had other ideas.  Looking to improve on an already solid season, the Sailfish rebounded from an early deficit to take a solid 6-3 victory over the Lions.

To start the match, the Lions took the early advantage by taking two of three from the Sailfish in doubles play.  Lina Rubiano and Natalie Aleman lost a heartbreaking 9-8 (5) in the #2 doubles match to the Lions duo of Jeanette McDonald and Shaena Keefe. 

Staring down the barrel of a potential 3-0 deficit going into singles play, the dynamic international duo of Montse Ripoll and Olga Alekseeva salvaged what was left in doubles play with a dominating 8-2 #1 doubles victory. 

In singles play, the Sailfish were able to regain their composure and take command of the match.  As has been the case all season long, Montse Ripoll was the thorn in the side of the opponents #1 player.  Earlier, St. Leo’s Lina Benkirane fell to Ripoll in the #1 doubles match, and Ripoll’s domination continued in singles play with a commanding 6-2, 6-1 victory in the #1 singles match. 

The Fish took five of six matches in singles play en route to a 6-3 throttling of the Lions.  Following Ripoll’s outstanding performance, Olga Alekseeva (6-0, 6-3), Lina Rubiano (6-1, 6-1), Natalie Aleman (6-0, 6-2), and Katie Livesay (6-1, 6-0) had outstanding straight set victories of their own over Lions opponents. 

With the victory, the Sailfish conclude their regular season with a solid 13-9 record.  After a month long layoff, the Fish will be back in action again at the NCCAA National Tournament in Marion, Indiana on May 3.  Be sure to check www.PbaSailfish.com for all the current women’s tennis news and highlights. 

Palm Beach Atlantic University 6, St. Leo University 3

Doubles

#1- Ripoll/Alekseeva (PBA) defeated Benkirane/King (SLU)  8-2
#2- Keefe/McDonald (SLU) defeated Rubiano/Aleman (PBA) 9-8(5)
#3- Schifano/Cleaves (SLU) defeated Artigas/Livesay (PBA)  8-1

Singles

#1- Ripoll (PBA) defeated Benkirane (SLU)  6-2, 6-1
#2- Alekseeva (PBA) defeated Keefe (SLU) 6-0, 6-3
#3- Rubiano (PBA) defeated McDonald (SLU) 6-1, 6-1
#4- Schifano (SLU) defeated Artigas (PBA) 6-1, 7-5
#5- Aleman (PBA) defeated Cleaves (SLU) 6-0, 6-2
#6- Livesay (PBA) defeated King (SLU) 6-1, 6-0

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