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Courtesy: CAA
VCU's Alexis Heugas

NCAA Tennis Victories

Courtesy: CAA
          Release: 05/24/2012
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Georgia State sophomore Abigail Tere-Apisah and the VCU doubles team of Alexis Heugas and Antoine Baroz advanced to the final 16 at the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championship on Thursday.

Tere-Apisah became the first player in school history to earn ITA All-America status in tennis with a convincing 6-3, 6-4 victory against Tennessee's Kata Szekely in the second round of the 2012 NCAA Women's Singles Championship on Thursday.

Tere-Apisah dominated the first set and broke late in the second before she clinched the match on serve. She earned ITA All-America status by advancing to the Round of 16 at the NCAA Singles Championship.

The No. 37-ranked Tere-Apisah advances to face No. 1-ranked Allie Will from the University of Florida at 11:30 a.m. on Friday. Tere-Apisah's latest victim, the No. 57-ranked Szekely, is the sixth nationally-ranked player she has defeated this season.

Tere-Apisah blazed out of the gates, winning the first match on serve and not allowing a point in the process. The sophomore from Georgia State and junior from Tennessee traded games on serve before Tere-Apisah broke serve to gain an early edge. After breaking to take a 3-1 lead, Tere-Apisah yet again looked dominant on serve by not allowing a point to take a 4-1 advantage. Szekely then held her serve and broke Tere-Apisah to narrow the gap to 4-3.

In the ensuing game, Szekely raced out to a 30-0 lead looking to knot the match at 4-4. Tere-Apisah responded by working the match to deuce and eventually breaking to grab a 5-3 edge. She held serve in the next game to take the first set.

Szekely, who defeated the No. 11-ranked player in the nation in Georgia Tech's Jillian O'Neill 6-4, 7-5 on Wednesday, responded in the second set. Both players traded holding serve in the tightly-contested second set until the match was tied at 4-4. With Szekely serving, Tere-Apisah utilized strong forehand winners to race out to a 15-40 lead and eventually broke serve to take a 5-4 advantage.

Tere-Apisah's wins in the first two rounds are the first by a Georgia State tennis player in school history. She won her first match 7-6 (7-4), 5-7, 6-0 against Santa Clara's Katie Le in the first round Wednesday morning. The sophomore now has a 19-1 record this season and is 6-1 during the spring season vs. nationally-ranked opponent. Tere-Apisah is now one win away from tying Kiera Strickland and Katerina Gresova for fourth on the GSU women's tennis career wins list.

The sophomore doubles tandem of Heugas and Baroz advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Doubles Championship with an upset of Florida's 14th-ranked doubles duo of Billy Federhofer and Nassim Slilam.

Heugas and Baroz entered the afternoon as the 63rd-ranked pair in the country and dropped the first 7-5 to the Gator duo. However, the resilient sophomores bounced right back and won the second set 7-5 and breezed to a 6-1 win in the third set to pull off the upset.

This is the second time that a Black & Gold tandem reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Doubles Championship, the only other time came in 2001 at the hands of Frank Moser and Florian Marquardt.

Up next for Heugas and Baroz is the country's fifth-ranked duo from the University of Virginia, Jarmere Jenkins and Drew Courtney.

The William and Mary women's tennis sophomore duo of Maria Belaya and Jeltje Loomans fell in the opening round of the 32-team NCAA Doubles Championship on Thursday afternoon at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. After dropping a tough tiebreaker, 7-6 (2), in the opening set, the Tribe tandem fell 6-3 in the second to the No. 14-ranked Alabama team of Alexa Guarachi and Courtney McLane.

After going through the opening 10 games of the first set on serve, the Tribe finally gained an upper hand with a break to take a 6-5 advantage. Guarachi and McLane broke back tie the match at six and force a tiebreaker. Alabama took the early advantage in the tiebreaker and won the final four points for a 7-6 (2) opening set victory.

The teams traded breaks to open the second set, but an Alabama break in the third game sent the Crimson Tide out to a 3-1 advantage. Guarachi and McLane earned another break to push the margin to 5-2 in the second. Belaya and Loomans battled to within 5-3 with a break in the eighth game, before the Crimson Tide pair pulled out the victory to advance to the second round on Friday.