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Tennis nets PSAC championship

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Posted on April 26, 2010

The No. 8 Vulcans captured their fourth-straight and sixth overall Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Team Championship April 24 with a 5-0 win against No. 44 Slippery Rock.

With the victory, the California University of Pennsylvania tennis team improves to 21-5 on the season and now ranks second all-time in PSAC history with six conference titles.

The Vulcans, who are the top seed in the Atlantic Region, will likely receive their sixth-straight NCAA Tournament selection on April 28. Meanwhile, The Rock falls to 19-5 overall and will also likely earn a berth to the NCAA Tournament after ranking third in the region. In addition to the win on April 24, Cal U had defeated Slippery Rock to win the 2008 PSAC Championship.

The Vulcans jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead after sweeping doubles play, losing only eight games in the three matches. At first doubles, freshman Jutta Bornefeld (Varel, Germany/Lother-Meyer Gymnasium) and junior Nina Kowalski (Hofheim, Germany/Man Taunus) posted 8-2 victory over Dunja Drmac and Laura Handy, the third-ranked doubles team in the region.

Sophomores Axelle Fernandez (Toulouse, France/Institut Familial) and Alina Stanila (Alexandria, Romania/Technical) also claimed an 8-2 win at the second slot against The Rock's Chelsea Gibson and Jessica Hilborn, while freshman Jade Pondicas (Johannesburg, South Africa/British International Distance) and sophomore Anastassiya Zherdeva (Almaty, Kazakhstan/Gumnasia Number 60) dealt Janelle Krantz and Sarah Lynch an 8-4 defeat at third doubles.

Pondicas and Zherdeva earned their 10th-straight victory to improve to 11-2 overall this season as a doubles team.

Cal U completed the 5-0 win following victories at the fifth and singles positions. Despite joining the team in the spring, Pondicas now ranks fourth on the team with 19 wins record following a 6-4, 6-0 victory at the fifth slot against Hilbon.

Fernandez won her 10th-consecutive singles match after blanking Casey Runyan at sixth singles, 6-0, 6-0.

Bornefeld was named the PSAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player after finishing with a 2-0 overall record in wins over Kutztown and Slippery Rock, two of the top 10 teams in the region.

Over the last four seasons, the Vulcans have compiled an astounding 98-13 overall record (.883) with four straight PSAC West and Tournament championships.