Don Vieth, Director of Athletics Communications
LINCOLN, Neb. – For the second consecutive season Northeastern State ran the table in the MIAA on Wednesday evening and trumped rivals Central Oklahoma 5-2 in the conference’s tournament championship.
The RiverHawks (18-4) are repeat tournament champions after taking its fifth straight MIAA Regular Season title one week ago. Wednesday’s win also gave Northeastern State an automatic qualifier to its 16th NCAA Tournament Appearance.
In its sixth straight MIAA Tournament Finals appearance, Northeastern State faced a team that was not Southwest Baptist. Central Oklahoma (18-3) ousted the Bearcats on Tuesday evening to setup the All-Oklahoma final.
In doubles, Northeastern State came out with a whole head of steam with early advantages on all three courts. Tatjana Stoll and Easton Parker made quick work of UCO on court three with a clean 8-0 sweep for the RiverHawks‘ first point. Mayra Jovic and Karla Tomaic followed with an 8-5 win on the main doubles court to put NSU up 2-0 on the Bronchos.
On the remaining court, Molly Worden and Chantal Nosievici held a 5-3 advantage on UCO but they would drop the next four games. Trailing 7-5, the pair would even the match, but they would ultimately fall 9-7.
With a 2-1 lead in the singles, the RiverHawks continued to set the pace on the Bronchos with first set wins on four courts. Nosievici was first to finish for NSU on court four with a 6-1, 6-4 win. Minutes later, Stoll wrapped up a 6-3, 6-2 victory on the main court to get the RiverHawks to an overall team match point.
The Bronchos took their lone singles victory on court three with NSU nearing wins on courts five and six. Betka Gombarova would be the match clincher for the RiverHawks on court five beating UCO 6-2, 7-5.
Northeastern State is all but a lock to host the opening round of the NCAA Tournament next weekend on April 28-29; announcements will come from the NCAA on April 24.