March 29, 2009
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Senior Anna Novo won her 23rd singles match of the season to move into second in school history to her own school-record of 29 matches set in 2008, helping the defending Atlantic Sun Conference regular season champions USC Upstate women's tennis team to a 4-0 lead to clinch its Sunday afternoon match against defending Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament champions Jacksonville before the Dolphins closed the match with three super-set tiebreakers made the final score, 4-3, at the USC Upstate Tennis Complex.
Novo now holds the top three single-season singles wins totals in school history, posting 22 wins, which is tied for third-best in school history, in 2007, 23 this season and the school-record 29 in 2008. She also clinched the doubles point with sophomore Emilia Milovanovic for their 20th win of the season, tying the pair for fifth in school history in wins, just four behind the school record of 24 set by Susana Hernandez and Daniela Lovera in 2006-07. Novo and Milovanovic are the first players in school history to win 20 doubles matches in back-to-back years.
Head coach Alessandro De Marzo, in his fifth year as head coach of both the men's and women's tennis programs, moved ahead of the school record of wins as an Upstate tennis coach, held by Alan Ferguson, who won 117 matches with the men's program from 1988-97 and 40 with the women's program from 1991-97 for 157 career wins. De Marzo has a 74-26 record with the women's program and an 84-26 record with men's program, giving him 158 wins since taking over in 2004.
The Spartans (11-2 overall, 6-0 A-Sun) won their first match by a 4-3 margin in the Division I era, but Upstate held a 4-0 lead before three tiebreaker wins closed the gap for the Dolphins (8-9 overall, 4-4 A-Sun).
Upstate took the doubles point in a split decision, winning two of the three matches. Freshman Ana-Sofia Camberos and senior Daniela Lovera started the Spartans out with an 8-4 win over Elvira Yusupova and Virginia Iwinski at No. 3. After a win by the Dolphins at No. 2, Novo and sophomore partner Emilia Milovanovic posted an 8-6 win over Tatiana Soldatova and Iva Jaresova at No. 1.
The Spartans kept the heat on when singles play started as Milovanovic posted a 6-1, 6-2 win over Juliana Umeski at No. 3 and freshman Cynthia Lazaro added a 6-4, 6-1 win over Iwinski at No. 5. Novo wrapped up the win with a 7-5, 7-6 (5) win over Soldatova.
The rest of the Spartan lineup also played well, but fell in super-set tiebreakers, as junior Carolina Bello fell 10-8 in her tiebreaker at No. 2, Lovera lost 10-6 for her first career A-Sun loss at No. 4 and Camberos fell 10-8 in the tiebreak at No. 6.
The Spartans get back in action on Monday, as North Florida, who currently has a 6-1 A-Sun mark will come to Upstate for a 2 p.m. match.