CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- The top-seeded College of Charleston women's tennis team punched its ticket to the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive year by holding off third-seeded Furman, 4-3, in the final of the Southern Conference tournament Saturday at the Champions Club.
The Cougars (21-7) won their 14th consecutive match en route to earning their fourth all-time NCAA berth in program history, following trips in 2003, 2009 and 2010.
"It's a great feeling to return to the NCAA tournament," said Cougars coach Angelo Anastopoulo said. "That is what practicing, training and playing all season is for -- to have a chance to compete at the highest level.
"To do so three years in a row is something special and a real credit to our team. We have five new players, and to have an opportunity to play in the postseason during your first year, makes it even more special."
The Cougars' Kinsey Casey outlasted Margaret Boyette, 6-3, 7-6 (5), to clinch the deciding point against the Paladins (13-11).
Charleston started off the match strong, claiming the doubles point.
The Cougars' Emma Hayman was named the tournament's most outstanding player.
The Cougars earned the league's automatic NCAA bid and will be one of 64 teams announced live during the NCAA Division I women's tennis championship bracket selection show on Tuesday at 5 p.m. on ESPNews.
The Cougars will host a watch party in Charleston, which will be announced at a later date.
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON 4, FURMAN 3
Singles: Monica Arguello (FUR) d. Christin Newman 7-5, 6-1; Emma Hayman (CofC) d. Katherine Oudin 6-1, 7-5; Lauren Kline (FUR) d. Caroline Newman 6-3, 6-1; Kinsey Casey (CofC) d. Margaret Boyette (FUR) 6-3, 7-6 (7-5); Kelly Kambourelis (CofC) d. Amanda Murray 6-2, 6-2; Michele Stanford (FUR) d. Keely Mulligan 6-3, 6-1
Doubles: Oudin-Boyette (FUR) d. Hayman-Irene Viana 8-5; Katie Lee-Casey (CofC) d. Murray-Kline 9-7; Jamie Harrell-Ch. Newman (CofC) d. Jennifer Betts-Arguello 8-4.
Men's college tennis
The College of Charleston men had their eight-match run halted as Samford (19-6) shut out the Cougars 4-0 in the final match of the Southern Conference tournament.
The fifth-seeded Bulldogs (19-6) won the doubles point with victories at the first and second spots.
Things didn't improve for the Cougars (17-6) in singles, as the Bulldogs won five of six first sets. Samford earned wins at the No. 1, 3 and 4 spots to win the team's first Southern Conference championship in program history.
SAMFORD 4, COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON 0
Singles: Carson Kadi (SAM) d. Lukas Koncilia 6-0, 6-1; Zac Dunkle (SAM) vs. Mickael Trintignac 7-5, 1-2, unfinished; Carl Abalos (SAM) d. Tom Delme 6-3, 6-4; Oliver Reynolds (SAM) d. Mickael Boyer 6-4, 6-2; Kyle Parker (CofC) vs. Fernando Costa 6-2, 2-6, 2-2, unf.; Alexander Sajonz (SAM) vs. Stephen Hardy (CofC) 6-1, 6-6, unf.
Doubles: Kadi-Costa (SAM) d. Koncilia-Parker 8-5; Dunkle-Alexander Sajonz (SAM) d. Delme-Hardy 8-6; Billy Kenny-Trintignac (CofC) d. Reynolds-Abalos 8-6.
The Citadel sophomore Brunson Miller earned his sixth Southern Conference title with a school-record breaking run in the 400 meters at the league’s outdoor championships in Birmingham, Ala. His winning time was 46.90 seconds in repeating his SoCon title from last spring.
-- College of Charleston junior Kristen Wolfe won the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase at the SoCon championships. She finished in a school-record time time of 10:42.85, with her nearest competitor finishing in 10:53.86.