GREEENSBORO (April 8, 2018) – For the first time since the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference went to Divisions in 2008, North Carolina A&T women's tennis has qualified for back-to-back conference tournaments.
The Aggies earned their conference tournament qualification with a 7-0 win over Savannah State at the Aggies Tennis Complex on a day when they honored seniors Khalia Powell and Nadia Hilton-Adams as a part of Senior Day.
The day started with the Aggies recognizing Powell and Hilton-Adams. The two have been instrumental in making the women's tennis program a competitive conference team. The women's tennis program won a record seven matches last season. After winning a combined two MEAC matches over the first two years of their career, Powell and Hilton-Adams have contributed to a 5-5 record in the MEAC over the final two years of their career.
Powell earned the 19th victory of her career when she defeated Ekaterina Vorobeva 6-3, 6-0 at No. 1 singles. It took Powell a little bit to find her opponents weakness and once she did, she put her away. Earlier in the day, she picked up her 14th win in doubles. Nine of Powell's doubles wins have come when she partnered with junior Fabiana Ramirez including Sunday when the duo took down Sansriti and Muskaan Ranjan 6-2. As a sophomore, Powell picked up seven singles wins, one of the highest win totals in school history.
Hilton-Adams also celebrated her Senior Day with a singles victory. Her win came at No. 4 singles as she defeated Sansriti Ranjan 6-4, 6-1. It was Hilton-Adams' 13th career singles victory. Adams career high in singles wins thus far came as a junior when she recorded five victories. She wasn't as fortunate in doubles as she and sophomore Renata Ruiz lost to Sofia Shut'ko and Rachida El Kateb 6-3. Hilton-Adams has 10 doubles victory as an Aggie including four with Powell.
The Aggies still picked up the doubles point, however, as junior Angelica Martinez and sophomore Kanishka Chawla opened the day by defeating Shakendra Alston and Ekaterina Vorobeva 6-3.
N.C. A&T was impressive in their other singles matches as well. Ruiz opened the day in singles for the Aggies by finishing off Shakendra Alston at No. 5 singles, 6-1, 6-1. It marked the second straight day Ruiz made short work of her adversaries. Ramirez ousted Shut’Ko at the No. 2 singles 6-3, 6-4 and Martinez performed well in defeating Muskaan Ranjan 6-2, 6-2.
Chawla had the most competitive singles match. She beat El Kateb 6-2 before El Kateb battled back to take the second set 7-5. N.C. A&T had already clinched the match, therefore, the two competitors went into a 10-point tiebreaker set. Chawla emerged victorious 10-7.
“We set out to make it to the MEAC championships,” said William Crutchfield. “My assistant coach Jeff Campbell and myself, we recognize that playoff style of play is different than regular-season style of play, so in the latter part of the season we purposely switched our style of play over to the playoff style and as a result, we qualified for the MEAC and punched our ticket.”
The Aggies will have more than two weeks to prepare for the MEAC Tennis Tournament Championship scheduled for April 26-28 in Norfolk, Va.
Savannah State vs North Carolina A&T
April 8, 2018 at Greensboro, N.C.
North Carolina A&T 7, Savannah State 0
- POWELL,Khalia (NCATW) def. VOROBEVA,Ekaterina (SSUW) 6-3, 6-0
- RAMIREZ,Fabiana (NCATW) def. SHUT'KO,Sofia (SSUW) 6-3, 6-4
- MARTINEZ,Angelica (NCATW) def. RANJAN,Muskaan (SSUW) 6-2, 6-2
- HILTON-ADAMS,Nadia (NCATW) def. RANJAN,Sansriti (SSUW) 6-4, 6-1
- RUIZ RABADAN,Renata (NCATW) def. ALSTON,Shakendra (SSUW) 6-1, 6-1
- CHAWLA,Kanishka (NCATW) def. EL KATEB,Rachida (SSUW) 6-2, 5-7, 10-7
- RAMIREZ,Fabiana/POWELL,Khalia (NCATW) def. RANJAN,Sansriti/RANJAN,Muskaan (SSUW) 6-2
- SHUT'KO,Sofia/EL KATEB,Rachida (SSUW) def. HILTON-ADAMS,Nadia/RUIZ RABADAN,Renata (NCATW) 6-3
- MARTINEZ,Angelica/CHAWLA,Kanishka (NCATW) def. ALSTON,Shakendra/VOROBEVA,Ekaterina (SSUW) 6-3
Savannah State 2-13, 0-3 MEAC
North Carolina A&T 2-18, 2-3 MEAC
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (5,1,3,2,4,6)