FLORENCE, SC – Following a long day that saw the completion of both the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, top-seeded Columbus State and third-seeded North Georgia remain standing and will meet in the championship match on Sunday. Columbus State defeated #8 Lander and #5 Georgia College by identical 4-0 scores while North Georgia downed #6 Francis Marion 4-0 and #2 Flagler 4-1 to advance.
Columbus State (21-4) advances to the championship match with a chance to make it a three-peat on Sunday.
In the semifinal, the duo of Natalia Kattah Paz and Candice Paya took down their opponents 6-1 at third but Marleen Tilgner and Luise Sachs fell 1-6 at first doubles leaving it up to the second court to decide the doubles point.
Beatriz Lopez and Noa Davico came through though for CSU with a 6-3 victory to put the Lady Cougars on top heading to singles play.
Needing only three points to secure a berth to the final, Columbus State went to work with three straight set takedowns.Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year Tilgner took down 67th-ranked Emilia Richter 6-2, 6-1 while Paya grabbed a 6-2, 6-0 point at the third spot. Paz notched a point for CSU at sixth giving up just one game on her court en route to a 6-1, 6-0 decision.
With the match in hand, the remaining three courts went unfinished.
North Georgia quickly worked through the doubles point against Francis Marion in the quarterfinal with Holly Bennett and Vaishali Jorge winning, 6-2, at the top line and Emma Etelalahti and Adrienne Bofinger winning, 6-1, at No. 2.
In singles, Bofinger put North Georgia up, 2-0, with a 6-1, 6-1 win that was followed closely behind by Lexa Loden's 6-2, 6-2 win. Jorge clinched the match with a 6-3, 6-2 win at No. 2 singles. The Nighthawks were leading in two of the three matches left on the courts.
Again in the semifinal, North Georgia cruised through doubles with Bennett and Jorge quickly dispatching their opponent, 6-1, before Loden and Cibeles Zuddy won, 7-5, at No. 3.
Flagler tied the match up with a win at No. 4 singles, but the Nighthawks clinched the match shortly thereafter with straight set wins at Nos. 2, 5 and 6 singles. The No. 1 and 3 lines were in a third set when the match was clinched.
The championship match will be held at the Dr. Eddie Floyd Florence Tennis Center on Sunday at 2pm.