Mustangs battle before falling 5-2 to defending champs

Image source: MSU Athletic Communications
Image source: MSU Athletic Communications

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, FL (KAUZ) - Midwestern State's historic 2017 campaign came to a close Thursday morning in the NCAA Division II Quarterfinals after a 5-2 defeat to No. 5 Armstrong State (Ga.) at the Sanlando Park Tennis Center.

Two-time defending national champion Armstrong State (Ga.) claimed two of three doubles matches before earning straight-set singles wins on courts two, five and six to reach its 14th-straight national semifinal.

Midwestern State closes out the season 23-5, tying for the second-most wins in program history after making its second NCAA Elite Eight appearance (2015). The Mustangs claimed their third Lone Star Conference regular season and tournament titles this season while setting a new standard of 11 home wins in 2017. MSU also achieved two of the program's five top-15 rankings this season, reaching a season-high No. 15 national ranking.

Armstrong State (Ga.) improves to 26-4 and moves on to the national semifinals to face either No. 1 BYU-Hawaii or No. 2 Barry (Fla.) tomorrow at 9 a.m. (EST) at the Sanlando Park Tennis Center.

The Pirates opened up an early 1-0 lead in doubles play with the nation's second-ranked duo of Lena Lutzeier and Diana Stomlega posting an 8-2 victory over Bianca Duff and Maddy Coffman at line one.

Midwestern State fought back to even the match at one apiece with Daria Panferova and Eirini Kontaki recording their seventh-straight victory with an 8-4 triumph over Tatjana Stoll and Lenka Styblova at No. 2.

On court three, Armstrong's Alice Patch and Tamri Chalaganidze edged out an 8-6 win over Greta Lazzarotto and Ashley Ramirez to give the Pirates the momentum heading into singles play with a 2-1 lead.

Stoll stretched the advantage to 3-1 for Armstrong to begin singles following a 6-1, 6-0 result over Kontaki at No. 2.

However, the Mustangs answered back again with Coffman registering a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Patch on court four for a 3-2 score in the match. Coffman's 22nd singles win of the season tied the school record set by Emilee Black (2000) and Michelle Beukes (2005) while her 46th combined win this season moved into a tie for second in the record books, the most wins for a Mustang since 2000.

Chalaganidze pulled the Pirates within one win of another national semifinal appearance with her 6-2, 6-3 win at No. 5 singles over Lazzarotto.

At No. 6, Styblova posted the clincher for Armstrong, rallying from a 5-2 deficit in the second set to earn a narrow 6-4, 7-6 (5) win over Ramirez to conclude the match.

On the remaining courts, Panferova was tied in the third set with the nation's fourth-ranked player in Lutzeier at the top court while Duff was pushing to force a third set in her match, tied 5-5 in the second with Stomlega at No. 3.

Midwestern State qualified for its 17th NCAA Tournament and made its sixth showing at the national championship site since becoming a Division II member in 1997-98.

#5 Armstrong State (Ga.) 5, #15 Midwestern State 2
May 11, 2017 at Altamonte Springs, Fla. (Sanlando Park Tennis Center)

Singles Competition
1. #4 Lena Lutzeier (ARM) vs. Daria Panferova (MSU) 6-1, 5-7, 2-2, unfinished
2. Tatjana Stoll (ARM) def. Eirini Kontaki (MSU) 6-1, 6-0
3. Diana Stomlega (ARM) vs. Bianca Duff (MSU) 7-5, 5-5, unfinished
4. Maddy Coffman (MSU) def. Alice Patch (ARM) 6-4, 6-4
5. Tamri Chalaganidze (ARM) def. Greta Lazzarotto (MSU) 6-2, 6-3
6. Lenka Styblova (ARM) def. Ashley Ramirez (MSU) 6-4, 7-6 (7-5)

Doubles Competition
1. #2 Lena Lutzeier/Diana Stomlega (ARM) def. Bianca Duff/Maddy Coffman (MSU) 8-2
2. Daria Panferova/Eirini Kontaki (MSU) def. Tatjana Stoll/Lenka Styblova (ARM) 8-4
3. Alice Patch/Tamri Chalaganidze (ARM) def. Greta Lazzarotto/Ashley Ramirez (MSU) 8-6

Match Notes:
Midwestern State 23-5; National ranking #15; Regional ranking #2
Armstrong State 26-4; National ranking #5; Regional ranking #2
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (2,4,5,6)
NCAA Division II Quarterfinals

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