FLORENCE, SC – Columbus State won their third straight PBC women's tennis tournament championship on Sunday, beating North Georgia 4-1 in the final. The Cougars, ranked #4 in the nation, improve to 22-4 overall on the season and earn the PBC's automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA Tournament. North Georgia, making their first-ever appearance in the PBC final, falls to 19-5 on the season and are all but assured of an at-large bid to the NCAAs. The PBC Tournament was played at the Dr. Eddie Floyd Florence Tennis Center in Florence, S.C.
North Georgia struck first in doubles as the team of Holly Bennett and Vaishali Jorge upended CSU's Marleen Tilgner and Luise Sachs 6-2. With that win, Jorge and Bennett were 3-0 at the PBC Tournament and earned the doubles MVP award.
CSU came back with wins at #2 and #3 doubles to take a 1-0 match lead. CSU's Natalia Kattah Paz and Candice Paya beat UNG's Lexa Loden and Cibeles Zuddy 6-2 at #3 doubles while Beatriz Lopez and Clara Audap beat Emma Etelalahit and Adrienne Bofinger 6-2 at #2 doubles.
North Georgia struck first again in singles play as Bofinger picked up a point at #1 when CSU's Marleen Tilgner retired in the first set. Bofinger got the win and moved to 2-0 in tournament play, earning singles MVP honors.
Columbus State showed their strength at #3 and #4 singles. Paya beat Bennett 6-2, 6-0 at #3 while Sachs swept Zuddy by identical 6-2, 6-0 scores.
Up 3-1, the Cougars clinched the championship at #6 singles where Audap defeated Loden 6-1, 6-1.
The NCAA Tournament teams will be announced on May 7.