ATLANTA--The No. 63-ranked Georgia State women's tennis team secured a hard-fought doubles point and a singles sweep en route to a 4-0 win vs. James Madison in the quarterfinal round of the CAA Championships on Friday.
The third-seeded Panthers (10-6) defeated the sixth-seeded Dukes (12-6) to earn their fifth straight trip to the CAA Championship semifinals. GSU advances to take on second-seeded UNCW at the Folkes-Stevens Tennis Center at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., the host of the 2012 Virginia 529 CAA Championship.
Junior Whitney Byrd, named All-CAA Second Team Singles on Thursday night, clinched the Georgia State victory with a 6-0, 6-4 triumph in the No. 3 singles position. The win improved Byrd to 10-6 this year in singles play.
Freshman Chaimaa Roudami shined in her first CAA Championship action by earning an important win in doubles and then in singles. She set up Byrd's match-clinching singles win by quickly snatching a 6-2, 6-2 victory at No. 6 singles.
The hard-fought doubles point came down to the No. 3 match where two freshmen, Roudami and Masa Grgan, battled to an 8-6 win to clinch the doubles point. The turning point came when the doubles match was tied 6-6 with James Madison serving in the game. Grgan and Roudami both displayed flawless play at the net to take a quick 0-30 lead. After dropping two points, Grgan and Roudami then hit consecutive overhand winners at the net to break serve and take the 7-6 lead. With Grgan serving in the next match, the two finished off the match 40-30 in the final game to secure the doubles point.
Byrd and sophomore Maryna Kozachenko paired for GSU's other doubles victory, an 8-6 win in the No. 2 slot. The duo, named All-CAA First Team Doubles on Thursday night, defeated JMU's Michelle Nguyen and Katherine Bulling to kick-off doubles play.
Sophomore Abigail Tere-Apisah, named the 2012 CAA Player of the Year on Thursday night, put on a dominating display in her 2012 CAA Championship opener. The Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, native took an efficient 6-1, 6-2 victory in the No. 1 singles spot against All-CAA Second Team Singles member Kinsey Pate of JMU. Tere-Apisah's win kicked-off the singles sweep for GSU.
The Panthers, led by fifth-year head coach Miha Lisac, now advance to play second-seeded UNCW on Saturday at 2 p.m. Georgia State dropped a narrow 4-3 contest at UNCW on Feb. 25 in the only meeting between the two teams this season. The Panthers, ranked No. 38 at the time, dropped the doubles point during the loss in Wilmington, N.C.
Visit the women's tennis page on www.GeorgiaStateSports.com for CAA Championship Central. In Championship Central, you can find links to the CAA Championship Guide with all information about GSU's 2012 CAA Championship run. Links to live stats and a live blog for all of the women's tennis matches throughout the 2012 CAA Championship also can be found in CAA Championship Central.
#63 Georgia State 4, James Madison 0
1. Abigail Tere-Apisah (GSU) def. Kinsey Pate (JMU) 6-1, 6-2
2. Tereza Lerova (GSU) vs. Jacqueline Palmucci (JMU) 4-6, 2-5, unfinished
3. Whitney Byrd (GSU) def. Michelle Nguyen (JMU) 6-0, 6-4
4. Maryna Kozachenko (GSU) vs. Taylor Pinchoff (JMU) 6-2, 4-3, unfinished
5. Masa Grgan (GSU) vs. Megan Douglass (JMU) 7-5, 2-3, unfinished
6. Chaimaa Roudami (GSU) def. Katherine Bulling (JMU) 6-2, 6-2
1. Kinsey Pate/Taylor Pinchoff (JMU) def. Abigail Tere-Apisah/Tereza Lerova (GSU) 9-7
2. Maryna Kozachenko/Whitney Byrd (GSU) def. Michelle Nguyen/Katherine Bulling (JMU) 8-6
3. Masa Grgan/Chaimaa Roudami (GSU) def. Megan Douglass/Ruxandra Andriescu (JMU) 8-6
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (1,6,3)