ALST claims back-to-back Women's Tennis titles
NEW ORLEANS, La. – The crown will stay in Montgomery.
The Alabama State women’s tennis team claimed its second consecutive SWAC Championship by winning the 2018 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Women’s Tennis Championship with a convincing 4-0 victory against No. 5 Alcorn State at City Park/ Pepsi Tennis Courts on Sunday.
Alabama State won its fourth overall SWAC Women’s Tennis Championship in program history (1995, 1999, 2017 and 2018).
The top-seeded Lady Hornets (12-8) received stellar performances once again from the duo of Gabriela Lackova and Lea Krajcovivoca, who each won their respective singles matches and then teamed to win as doubles partners to both finish unblemished with a 4-0 record in the SWAC Tournament.
The juniors who both hail from Slovakia were a dominant force throughout conference play this season as they combined to finish 15-2 against SWAC opponents in singles play.
Lackova was named the SWAC Tournament’s Most Valuable Player after playing from the No. 3 singles position as she defeated sophomore Alessandra Maganuco of Italy 6-3, 6-0.
Krajcovicova, playing from the No. 4 singles position, topped junior Klavdija Bukovec of Slovenia, 6-1, 6-1.
No. 2 Reka Szentes downed Ammaarah Tim 6-2, 6-2 for the third singles win for Alabama State.
In doubles action, Lackova and Krajcovivoca were too much for Tim and Maganuco as they won 6-0. Mirna Curcic and Maria Blazevic secured the doubles point for the Lady Hornets as they were knocked off Marlene Maier and Bukovec 6-2.
Alcorn State (8-15) did not take a set, but the Lady Braves junior No. 1 player Bianca Birkenstock had pushed Chloe Kabama to a 6-6 tie-breaker and did not finish.
The awards presentation included the announcement of the 2018 SWAC Women’s Tennis All-Tournament Team. Alabama State led with four selections.
Lackova was named the SWAC Tournament’s Most Valuable Player as well to the All-Tournament Team after winning both her singles and doubles matches in the semifinals and the championship from the No. 3 singles spot and from the No. 2 doubles position.
Krajcovivoca also went 4-0 from the No. 4 singles position and the No. 2 doubles position. Curcic claimed three victories in the tournament including one as a doubles partner in the No. 3 match of the championship with Marija Blazevic. Blazevic also made the team after earning two victories in the tourney.
Alcorn State, the runners up, was represented by Maganuco, who entered the finals with a team-high three wins on the Lady Braves journey to the championship. The sophomore picked up two key victories in the upset win against No. 3 Southern on Friday and then added another in the Lady Braves’ victory against No. 2 Prairie View A&M on Saturday.
Tyler Smith of Jackson State was the lone player who did not play in the final who made the All-Tournament squad. The senior from Pembroke, Bermuda won tied a conference-high with four victories in the tournament.
The Coach of the Year award went to Alabama State head coach Anuk Christiansz for a second straight season. The Lady Hornets went 8-0 in conference play to earn the top seed and a first round bye in the playoffs. Alabama State defeated No. 4 Jackson State 4-1 in the semifinals on Saturday and followed it up with Sunday’s 4-0 title win against No. 5 Alcorn State.
2018 SWAC Women’s Tennis All-Tournament Team
Gabriela Lackova, Alabama State
Lea Krajcovivoca, Alabama State
Mirna Curcic, Alabama State
Marija Blazevic, Alabama State
Alessandra Maganuco, Alcorn State
Tyler Smith, Jackson State
Most Valuable Player
Gabriela Lackova, Alabama State
Coach of the Year