FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Culminating in the first conference championship tournament since 2019 as a finality to two partial seasons, the No. 3 Nova Southeastern women’s tennis team (8-1) is scheduled to host the No. 8 Saint Leo Lions (7-2) on Wednesday, April 21 at 12:00 p.m. in the opening round of the 2021 Sunshine State Conference Championships.
Playing at the NSU Tennis Center at Rolling Hills, the second-seeded Sharks will face third-seeded Saint Leo for the second time this season. NSU was triumphant in an early-season victory over the Lions all the way back on March 7, topping SLU 5-2.
The Lions created a big shift in the seeding at the 11th hour, finishing a comeback against Lynn for a 4-3 victory that moved SLU’s championships appearance to Fort Lauderdale instead of in Miami Shores against top-seeded Barry. Despite the NSU doubles sweep, the Sharks had to battle out four singles victories. SLU’s only other loss on the season came to Barry, while the Sharks’ lone loss was also at Barry after sweeping Lynn at home.
The Lions’ most consistent victor is top-flight Swedish junior Molly Helgesson, who is 8-1, No. 4 nationally and also the most consistent SLU doubles winner at 6-3 – as one half of the 15th-ranked doubles pair. Also at 8-1, German freshman Celia Ermann is also steady on court five. Both players topped NSU in the singles during the first meeting.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The No. 3 Nova Southeastern women’s tennis team (8-1) concluded the regular season on Saturday at the NSU Tennis Center at Rolling Hills, delivering a key ranked victory over No. 19 Florida Southern on the Sharks’ Senior Day, 6-1. Prior to the match, the Sharks honored seniors Isabella Lowrey, Daniela Obando and Ivana Djordjevic.
Facing a split doubles after the Mocs took court one 7-5, Isabella Lowrey and Daniela Obando battled past Minnie Kim and Flor Salerno for the tiebreak win, triumphing 7-6 (8). The pair of honored seniors was playing their first match together since March 24th and secured the doubles point and the early advantage for NSU.
ITA 17th-ranked Snita handed over her typical dominance, downing Kim quickly in a double-6-0 finish to open up singles play on court two.
19th-ranked Obando wasn’t far behind, topping Emily Sidor, 6-0, 6-2 to put the victory within grasp in the third flight.
10th-ranked Natalie Espinal finished off Lauren Vetter in a 6-2, 6-1 win to grant the Sharks their eighth victory of the year.
On court four, Chantal Nosievici kept things moving with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Isabella Bolivar.
In the fifth flight, Follin-Arbelet wrapped things up, going 6-4, 6-0 over Salerno to close out the 6-1 victory and the 2021 regular season.
ABOUT THE SHARKS TENNIS SENIORS Isabella Lowreycame to NSU as a four-time district champion and first-team All-Broward County player from The Sagemont School. She opened up her rookie season playing No. 1 doubles with Liucelena Perez and went on to earn 2017 first team ITA Doubles All-America – the pair ranking as high as No. 7. She wraps the regular season with a 55-23 career doubles record. On the singles side, Lowrey holds a 20-27 career record after overcoming a 1-15 first year record. She is a three-time SSC Commissioner’s Honor Roll awardee.
Daniela Obando came to NSU from Andragogy International Universe (AIU) High School and originally Tegucigalpa, Honduras. In her time as a Shark, she’s collected a 79.2 win percentage, gone 41-10 singles and 45-12 doubles to rack up two First Team All-SSC Doubles (2018-19) honors and two Second Team All-SSC Singles (2018-19) honors. She provided the clinching match in the 2019 SSC Championships semifinal to defeat defending National Champion Barry and also was a decisive clinching point at the 2020 ITA DII Indoor Championships. She is a two-time SSC Commissioner’s Honor Roll honoree.
Ivana Djordjeviccame to NSU from Novi Sad, Serbia and Isidora Sekulic Grammar School, where she qualified for the 14U National Championship semifinals, was 16U National Championship Runner-Up and 16U and 14U Vojvodina Cup Champion. Although limited in playing time, Djordjevic delivered when called upon, going 9-3 in singles and 9-2 in doubles. She is a three-Time SSC Commissioner’s Honor Roll awardee, a two-Time D2 ADA Academic Achievement Award winner and three-Time ITA Scholar-Athlete.
FROM COACH DOUG NEAGLE “Great way for our seniors to be honored today beating a solid FSC team. Awesome to have Bella & Danny clinch the doubles winning in a tiebreaker 10-8! Ivana, Bella, & Danny will so be missed. The good news is, we aren’t done yet. We want to finish what we started here.”
UP NEXT Next on the schedule will be the Sunshine State Conference Championships next week. As the pairing announcements are still due, the Sharks anticipate playing as hosts on Wednesday, April 21 at 2:00 p.m. at the NSU Tennis Center.
TEMPE, Ariz. – Moving up in the third ranking of the year from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), the No. 3 Nova Southeastern Sharks women’s tennis team (7-1) also logged three players in the Top 20, including a pair in the Top 10, as well as the No. 2 doubles pair.
The play of Natalie Espinal (Tegucigalpa, Honduras), Karolina Snita (Glagow, Poland) and Daniela Obando (Tegucigalpa, Honduras) have clearly captured the attention at the national office. An All-American in doubles and singles in 2020, Espinal is 6-2 this season – the second go-around at her sophomore campaign, and ranks the highest for NSU at No. 10. Also a 2020 singles All-American, Snita is 7-1 for her redshirt junior year and comes in with the No. 17 ranking. Rounding out the trio, Obando is No. 19 with a 5-0 record as a senior in 2021.
Keeping pace with her 2020 season, Espinal is also one half of the No. 2 doubles pair in the rankings, working in tandem with junior Chantal Nosievici for a 5-2 record against foes from the dominant Sunshine State Conference.
As a team, the Sharks leaped over then-No. 3 Lynn after downing the Fighting Knights on March 24 in a near-perfect 7-0 victory. The Sharks regain their highest program ranking where they started the season and now rank second in the SSC and South Region.
“It’s nice to see our team, three singles players, and one doubles team recognized with high rankings,” head coach Doug Neagle said. “We are keeping our goals vague and truly trying to focus on the next team on our schedule. I feel our ladies are doing just that, hence these well-deserved rankings.”
Nova Southeastern closes off the regular season on Saturday, April 17 at home against No. 19 Florida Southern for Senior Day. The Sunshine State Conference Championships will follow, with higher seeds hosting from April 21-24.
MIAMI SHORES, Fla. – In a matchup of two of the top teams in not only the Sunshine State Conference, but also the nation, the shorthanded No. 4 Nova Southeastern Sharks women’s tennis squad (7-1), saw its 11-match win streak ended on Wednesday in an extremely rare 7-0 loss to No. 2 Barry (7-0) at the Buccaneer Tennis Center.
The Sharks dropped the doubles point for the first time this season, and also marked the first time in 21 matches to not collect the opening score.
On court five, Celia Montero Estevan produced one of the tightest finishes of the day, falling in the second set tiebreaker 7-4 in the 6-3, 7-6 loss to Daniela Farfan.
On court one, Natalie Espinal rebounded from a 6-1 finish in set one, taking a 5-4 lead late in the second set before ultimately falling 7-5 in the loss to Deniz Khazan.
This marks the first seven-point sweep lost by the Sharks since the final match of the 2019 regular season, also against then-No. 1 Barry in Miami Shores – a 27-match stretch in between.
FROM COACH DOUG NEAGLE “We are looking forward to and hoping to get a chance to play them again soon.”
UP NEXT The Sharks will close their regular season next Saturday, April 17, in the confines of the NSU Tennis Center at Rolling Hills, hosting No. 20 Florida Southern for Senior Day. The Sharks have defeated the Mocs in the last five outings, and the series is split at 14-14 since the Sharks joined NCAA Division II and the Sunshine State Conference. The SSC Championships tournament is slated to begin at higher-seed campus sites on April 21.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Not the sweep that had become commonplace in recent matches, but it ended as another win for the No. 4 Nova Southeastern Sharks women’s tennis team (7-0) on Wednesday afternoon at the Mitch Gornto Tennis Center. Although Palm Beach Atlantic (1-5) pressed NSU late, but not before the Sharks landed the needed blows to close things out and earn their seventh win in as many matches this season.
Looking at the second consecutive match with a modified lineup, Natalie Espinal and Chantal Nosievici landed the first punch on court one, downing Quinty Janssen and Elvira Edstrom in a 6-0 win to get NSU on the board.
After a close loss on court two, Celia Montero and Caitlyn Khan gutted out the 7-5 victory over Madison Bezner and Verena Weindl to claim the doubles point for the Sharks.
Montero kept her momentum at No. 5 singles, earning the first win, topping Anabelle Robichaud 6-4, 6-0.
Nosievici took the Sharks one step closer with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Bezner on court three.
At No. 1 singles, Espinal delivered the match victory with a 6-3, 6-3 triumph over Rebecca Keijzerwaard to give NSU the 4-0 lead.
Karolina Snita snagged a 6-4, 6-2 win over Janssen to keep wrap up the Shark wins on court two.
A resilient PBA was able to capture a pair of wins on courts six and four, matching the No. 9 Saint Leo for the most points logged against the Sharks this season.
FROM COACH DOUG NEAGLE “PBA played us very tough today. They are an aggressive team that played fearless today. It was a good test today and we will improve from this.”
UP NEXT In seven days time, the next match for the Sharks will be the biggest of the season to date, as NSU travels to Miami Shores to face No.2-ranked three-time defending National Champion Barry at the Buccaneer Tennis Center. The last meeting with the Bucs saw Barry eek out a 4-2 victory at the ITA DII Indoor Championships in Oklahoma. In the meeting prior, NSU downed the Bucs 4-2 and advanced to the 2019 Sunshine State Conference Championships final. The Sharks are 4-22 in the overall series, dating back to 1989.
MELBOURNE, Fla. – Officials from the Sunshine State Conference announced on Monday that Nova Southeastern sophomore Natalie Espinal has been named the Women’s Tennis Athlete of the Week, after leading the No. 4 Sharks to one of their most consequential victories in program history and closing out the week 2-0 with a pair of sweeps, topping No. 3 Lynn and Eckerd at home this past week.
A doubles and singles Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-American last season, Espinal’s effort on the No. 1 court keyed a big week for the Sharks, highlighted by a historic victory over No. 3 Lynn – marking only the third NSU triumph in the 25-match series. Espinal (Tegucigalpa, Honduras) was fully in command during both outings against the Fighting Knights, first pairing with Chantal Nosievici to notch the initial doubles win on a 6-1 final over Anna Baranovski and Eliska Petrackova, then going on to log the first singles win, topping Karyna Bihel on scores of 6-2, 6-1.
With the groundbreaking win under Espinal’s and the Sharks’ belts, she showed no signs of slowing up for the week, combining with Isabella Lowrey for a 6-1 doubles win against Eckerd’s Taylor Selby and Alexis Kwasnik, then finishing up by downing Selby 6-1, 6-0 in singles.
Espinal is 5-1 in both singles and doubles this season and this marks the second career weekly honor for the 2019 SSC Freshman of the Year and ITA South Region Rookie of the Year. This is the second award garnered by the Sharks this season, after Karolina Snita captured the award following the first week of action (March 8).
In matches last week, the Sharks did not drop a single set across two 7-0 sweeps, placing NSU in a quality position to become one of the top two seeds for the upcoming Sunshine State Conference Championships.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The No. 4 Nova Southeastern women’s tennis team (6-0) logged its second commanding sweep of the week on Saturday afternoon at the NSU Tennis Center at Rolling Hills, dominating in a quick victory over Eckerd (0-6) with a nearly flawless Sharks performance.
The Sharks recorded their 13th consecutive regular season home victory and logged their fifth sweep in six matches this season. With the win, the Sharks are 16-4 overall in the series with Eckerd.
NSU’s lineup saw some changes this outing, but the Sharks still delivered in a commanding fashion, as Celia Montero Estevan and Caitlyn Khan made quick work of Cassidy Lear and Angelina Kossoff in the first of two doubles sweeps, 6-0.
At the No. 1 doubles, Natalie Espinal partnered with Isabella Lowrey to deliver the doubles point on a 6-1 victory over Taylor Selby and Alexis Kwasnik.
Snita was quick to keep the Sharks moving forward, topping Lear on the second court with a 6-0, 6-0 finish.
Going 6-1, 6-0 over Reichert on court three, Follin-Arbelet pushed NSU one step closer to their sixth victory of the year.
Mere moments behind, Montero Estevan wrapped up a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Kwasnik on court four to capture the team victory.
Playing her first match of 2021, Khan went 6-1, 6-0 over Kossoff.
One step closer to the fifth sweep of the year, Espinal topped Selby on court one with a 6-1, 6-0 finish.
Closing out the match with her first singles match since since last February, Lowrey finished off Schultz on five, 6-1, 6-2.
This marks the third consecutive match for the Sharks without dropping a single set.
NSU earned perfect scores in seven singles sets against the Tritons.
FROM COACH DOUG NEAGLE “We had some different doubles teams today and it was also nice seeing Bella and Caitlyn stepping in our singles lineup and playing well. We really showed our depth today.”
UP NEXT After four straight home matches, the Sharks head back off campus next Wednesday, traveling to face Palm Beach Atlantic on March 31 at the Mitch Gornto Tennis Center. NSU has won six consecutive matches against Sailfish and are 17-1 in the overall series versus PBA.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The No. 4 Nova Southeastern women’s tennis team (5-0) didn’t just pull off a big-time upset on Wednesday afternoon at the NSU Tennis Center at Rolling Hills, but the Sharks actually dominated in a big-time upset of No. 3 Lynn (2-1), sweeping the Fighting Knights, 7-0, in their first series win since 2016, snapping a seven-match Lynn win streak in the series.
A historic win for the Sharks, it was only the third victory in the 25-match series against the perennially-strong Fighting Knights. It was also the largest series margin of victory for the Sharks – both previous wins coming as slim 5-4 wins (2016, 2015). With today’s result, NSU has secured a top-3 victory in each of the past three seasons under head coach Doug Neagle – also topping No. 1 Barry in 2019 and No. 3 Columbus State in 2020.
With their commanding effort on Wednesday, the Sharks snap a 13-game Lynn win streak and hand the Fighting Knights only their second loss in the past 42 matches.
The Sharks came out firing and swept the doubles, earning the point on a race to the finish with Natalie Espinal and Chantal Nosievici over Anna Baranovski and Eliska Petrackova edging out the performances of Daniela Obando and Isabella Lowrey over Eleonore Barrere and Karyna Bihel in nearly simultaneous 6-1 victories in the first and second flights. The Sharks secured the doubles point in less than 30 minutes.
However, the battle raged in the third flight, after Karolina Snita and Diane Follin-Arbelet jumped out to an early advantage, only to fight off the rally by Barbora Cibakova and Federica Mordegan, extending into the 3-o’clock-hour for the 7-6 (5) tiebreaker victory.
The Sharks carried that same approach and momentum forward, logging first score on all six singles courts.
Espinal went to work immediately against Bihel on court one and finished first in singles as well, extending NSU’s advantage with a 6-2, 6-1 victory.
Snita wasn’t far behind in the second flight, wrapping up a 6-3, 6-1 win over Barrere to put NSU within sight of the victory after all but one court had secured wins in the first set.
After the fastest singles start on the squad, Follin-Arbelet followed in victory on the No. 5 court, claiming the match point for NSU with a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Petrackova.
The dominoes continued to fall quickly, as Obando closed out a 6-2, 6-2 triumph over Mordegan on court three – topping the Fighting Knight who ranked 44th in the last 2020 player rankings.
On four, Nosievici battled out a 7-6 (2) first-set victory that outlasted nearly all other matches, before topping Cibakova by retirement.
Securing the clean sweep on six, Celia Montero Estevan pushed past Baranovski, 6-2, 7-5 to lock up the biggest triumph over Lynn in program history.
The Sharks did not drop a single set to Lynn and delivered their fourth sweep in five matches this season.
UP NEXT The Sharks are back on the courts at Rolling Hills on Saturday, hosting Eckerd (0-4) on March 27 at 2:00 p.m. The Sharks are 15-3 overall against the Tritons and have won 14 consecutive matches in the series, a winning streak began in 2007.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Another match, and another sweep for the fourth-ranked Nova Southeastern women’s tennis (4-0) team, hosting Embry-Riddle (2-3) at home on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at the NSU Tennis Center at Rolling Hills. For the third time this season, the Sharks put up the 7-0 sweep en route to the victory – their 11th consecutive regular season home victory.
First to the finish, Espinal retired Blanco after a 6-0 first set victory.
Follin-Arbelet followed with a double-6-1 win over Soares
Grabbing the clinch point, Snita delivered a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Krvajica to give the Sharks their eighth consecutive match victory, dating back to 2020.
Nosievici finished strong in the fourth flight with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Mautner.
After a lengthy battle with Marshall, Obando triumphed in the third flight to close out the sweep on a 6-4, 6-3 win.
FROM COACH DOUG NEAGLE “We picked up our intensity at practice and I felt it showed in our match today. The ladies seemed more confident, both physically and mentally.”
UP NEXT Four days to go before the biggest match so far this season for the Sharks, playing host to No. 3 Lynn on Wednesday, March 24 at 2:00 p.m. at the NSU Tennis Center. The Fighting Knights have proven particularly challenging for the Sharks, holding a seven-match win streak over NSU – including the last two meetings in the NCAA Regional Championships and in the Sunshine State Conference Final in 2019.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The fourth-ranked Nova Southeastern women’s tennis (3-0) home opener closed in a battle, but the Sharks were once again dominant as they hosted Rollins (0-1) in the Tars’ first match of the season, collecting their second 7-0 sweep and moving to 3-0 on the year. NSU wins its 10th consecutive regular season home match and is 15-2 overall at home in the past three seasons.
Mirroring the previous 7-0 result to open the season at Tampa, the Sharks split doubles before earning the point.
Snita rallied from a 2-6 first set to reverse it in the second with a 6-2 win, then triumphed over Groth in the tiebreaker with a 10-5 victory in the second flight – completing the sweep.
FROM COACH DOUG NEAGLE “It was great to have our first home match in over a year. Rollins came in and really tested us and I’m happy with the way our team responded. I saw some positives, but I also see some things we need to focus on at practice. We have a week to prepare for Embry-Riddle and we are going to ramp up practices this week and work hard in the weight room.”
UP NEXT A full seven days until the Sharks return to action, the next home outing in a four-match home stand is with Embry-Riddle, set for March 20 at the NSU Tennis Center. The Sharks have been dominant in the short series with the Eagles, leading 4-0 overall against ERAU – including a 7-0 sweep in 2019 at home.