No. 2 Seed Stetson Edges No. 4 Seed Liberty 4-2 for ASUN Crown
The No. 2 seed Stetson Hatters edged the No. 4 seed Liberty Lady Flames 4-2 in Sunday’s 2022 ASUN Women’s Tennis Championship final at the FGCU Tennis Complex.
Liberty finishes its season with a 19-8 record, matching a program record for wins. The Lady Flames’ appearance in the ASUN final was their first, and this was Liberty’s third time playing in a conference championship final (other: Big South in 2016 and 2018).
Lady Flames freshman standout Maria Juliana Parra Romero set a new program record on Sunday and also earned ASUN All-Tournament team honors for her performance this weekend. Parra Romero’s 6-2, 6-3 victory over Nadejda Masolva at No. 1 singles was her 29th singles win of the 2021-22 season, a new school record. The freshman from Bucaramanga, Colombia shared the record with Jordan Jenkins (28 wins, 2009-10) coming into the day.
The Hatters claim their fourth ASUN title in program history but first since 1989. Stetson improves to 22-2 and has earned the conference’s automatic bid to the 2022 Division I Women’s Tennis Championship, which will begin on May 6.
Stetson 4, Liberty 2
- M. Juliana P. Romero (LIBERTYW) def. Nadejda Maslova (STET) 6-2, 6-3
- Anais Gabriel (STET) vs. Kalani Soli (LIBERTYW) 6-4, 3-6, 2-1, unfinished
- Cheri Darley (STET) def. Esther Lovato (LIBERTYW) 6-0, 6-4
- Alanna DiFrancesco (STET) def. Alexandra Almborg (LIBERTYW) 7-6 (7-4), 6-0
- Noa Cohen (STET) def. Micaela Ode Mitre (LIBERTYW) 6-2, 6-3
- Tiffany Nguyen (LIBERTYW) def. Elodie Foster (STET) 6-3, 7-5
- Alanna DiFrancesco/Elodie Foster (STET) def. Kalani Soli/M. Juliana P. Romero (LIBERTYW) 6-4
- Cheri Darley/Nadejda Maslova (STET) def. Willa Rogers/Eloise Saraty (LIBERTYW) 6-3
- Anais Gabriel/Noa Cohen (STET) vs. Tiffany Nguyen/Micaela Ode Mitre (LIBERTYW) 5-5, unfinished
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (3,4,6,1,5)
2022 ASUN Women’s Tennis Championship Final
Official: Bob Booth T-2:48 A-67
How It Happened
• Stetson took the doubles point from Liberty for the second time in nine days. The Hatters’ singles victories in the No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 positions helped secure the title.
• Today’s matchups in doubles and singles were exactly the same as they were in the April 14 contest between the Lady Flames and Hatters at the Liberty Tennis Complex.
• In doubles, the Hatters’ No. 2 duo Cheri Darley and Nadejda Masolva picked up their second win of the season over Willa Rogers and Eloise Saraty, winning 6-3. Darley and Masolva trailed 40-15 with the match tied 3-all before coming back to the take the game. Leading 4-3, the Stetson duo claimed a second straight deuce point for a 5-3 lead before going on to win. Rogers and Saraty won 51 percent (27-of-53) of the points in the match.
• Stetson’s No. 1 pairing, Elodie Foster and Alanna DiFrancesco, trailed 4-3 in their match with Kalani Soli and Maria Juliana Parra Romero but evened it up at 4-all. The Hatters duo won deuce points in their next two games to take the match, 6-4. Liberty made 20 unforced errors in the match, compared to 14 for Stetson.
• Stetson No. 3 singles player Cheri Darley took the opening set 6-0 from Esther Lovato but trailed 4-3 in the second. Darley reeled off three straight games to take the match, 6-0, 6-4, and give her team a 2-0 advantage. The Stetson freshman hitter 28 winners in the match, while Lovato managed four winners. Lovato’s only two losses in ASUN matches this season both came against Darley.
• The Hatters’ DiFrancesco edged Alexandra Almborg in a first-set tiebreaker on court four, 7-6 (4) and went on to all six games in the second set to prevail, 7-6 (4), 6-0.
• Shortly after DiFrancesco gave Stetson the 3-0 lead, Parra Romero topped Maslova 6-2, 6-3 for the record-breaking win. Parra Romero’s monumental win saw the Liberty rookie hold advantages in winners (20-7), break points won (6-3) and first serve percent (67 percent to 50 percent).
• Parra Romero’s historic season saw her post a 29-5 singles record, including an 18-3 spring mark and 14-2 record in the No. 1 slot.
• Nguyen brought Liberty within a point of Stetson, 3-2, as the sophomore prevailed in two sets, 6-3, 7-5, against Foster. Nguyen trailed 5-1 in the second set but completed the comeback by taking the next six games. She won two deuce points during that stretch for her second triumph over Foster in the last nine days.
• Stetson received its fourth and championship-clinching point from junior Noa Cohen. Cohen led 6-2, 5-3 but trailed 40-30 in the last game on serve. Cohen claimed the next two points and the match, 6-2, 6-3 to give the Hatters their first ASUN title in 33 years.
• At No. 2 singles, Soli of Liberty and Anais Gabriel of Stetson split sets (4-6, 6-3, 1-2) and were in a third set when their match was halted.
• Liberty is 3-3 all-time at the ASUN Championship – 2-1 in 2022, 1-1 in 2021 and 0-1 in 2019.
• Liberty is 1-2 all-time against Stetson. The Hatters took both matches this season, while the Lady Flames swept Stetson 7-0 in the inaugural meeting in 2019.