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Clemson's Ladies Capture ACC Title

April 23, 2008 03:32 PM

It took close to three and a half hours, but Carol Salge finally clinched the match for Clemson to give the Tigers their first Atlantic Coast Conference Women's Tennis Championship crown since 2004. Fourth-seeded Clemson, which had upended top-seeded Georgia Tech in the semifinals on Saturday, posted its second upset in the tournament with a 4-3 victory over No. 2 Duke late Sunday afternoon at Sanlando Park. The win also extended Clemson's streak to 10 straight.

Salge, a senior from San Roque, Brazil, was named the ACC Most Valuable Player at the tournament after she clinched the match that gave Clemson its eighth league crown overall.

Clemson Ladies ACC Champs

Clemson claimed the doubles point to open the match, posting wins at Nos. 1 and 3. Ina Hadziselimovic and Alexandra Luc were the first to win, defeating Duke's Ellah Nze and Reka Zsilinszka 8-5 on court three. The Tigers captured the point at the top spot from an 8-5 win by Ani Mijacika and Salge over Melissa Mang and Amanda Granson of Duke.

Things got tougher as singles play turned into a back-and-forth affair. Duke won a pair of matches at Nos. 2 and 5 to pull ahead 2-1, but Clemson's Mijacika and Laurianne Henry claimed their matches to regain the lead at 3-2. The Tigers had a chance to take it all on court four, but Duke's Mang rallied for a 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 victory over Hadziselimovic.

The championship title came down to court three, taking three sets to complete the match. Salge won the first set 6-1, but Zsilinszka bounced back for a 6-3 win in the second. The third set went into a tiebreaker as Salge clinched the match 7-6 (6) for the overall victory.

ACC teams will now wait a week and a half before the NCAA makes its 2008 postseason selections. The 64-team field will be announced on Tuesday, April 29, while individual invitations are scheduled for Wednesday, April 30.

Today's championship match will be available On-Demand by 9 p.m. on ACC Select. Fans can also catch earlier coverage of the quarterfinals and semifinals on ACC Select.

From: The Daily Tennis News