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Knights Triumph Over APU 4-0 To Win PacWest Championship

by Art U News
ART U Women's Tennis team. Photo by Rob Garcia.

By ART U Athletics Staff

For the first time in program history, No. 48 Academy of Art University Women’s Tennis brought home the Pacific West Conference Championship after taking down No. 19 Azusa Pacific in dominant fashion, sweeping the Cougars 4-0. In addition to the team title, senior Viktoria Leth was named the PacWest Tournament Most Valuable Player with seven victories across doubles and singles matches.

To start the championship match, the pair of Paulina Alvarez and Leth began doubles with momentum, as the duo defeated Katherine Nguyen and Shannele Lopez on Court 3 with an impressive 6-2 score. After the Cougars tied it up on Court 1, sophomore Jessica Plazas and freshman Estelle Najean put the Urban Knights up 1-0 by caging Julia Jordan and Vini Bautista on Court 1 with a 7-6 (7-4) score. To clinch the first point of the day, Plazas and Najean came back from a 4-1 deficit in the tiebreaker as they scored six straight points. With the match headed towards singles play, ART U held the lead and gained the doubles point for the fourth consecutive match in the tournament. 

To start singles, No. 55 PacWest Freshman of the Year Amelija Supulniece took down the PacWest Player of the Year in No. 10 Madison Kane, as she came out of Court 1 with the first singles point for the team after a 7-5, 6-0 score. Plazas followed it up with a flashy win on Court 2, where she defeated Jordan by a score of 6-4, 6-4 to put the Knights up 3-0. With a dominant showing on Court 5, Leth locked up the championship victory and recorded her second clinch of the tournament as she defeated Nguyen, all finished up with the score set at 6-3, 6-2. With the match clinched, junior Maria Vittoria Casucci, Alvarez, and Najean’s matches went unfinished as the trio held their ground with two won sets for the Knights.

Earning the PacWest title, the squad’s season will now continue as they look ahead to the postseason with the official announcement of NCAA Division II West Regional qualifiers announced on May 6. Keep up with www.artuathletics.com for updates.

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