Zhang leads Seasiders to semifinals

Zhang leads Seasiders to semifinals

DENVER – Nannan (Dallas) Zhang continued her winning streaks to power No. 1 BYU-Hawaii women's tennis past No. 12 St. Mary's (TX) 5-2 in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II Women's Tennis Championships on Thursday at the Regency Athletic Complex.

"I'm a little disappointed in how we played doubles, but happy with how we bounced back and played singles," BYU-Hawaii head coach Dave Porter said. "We will need to play a lot better tomorrow to come out with a win [against Saint Leo]."

The Rattlers (21-4) got off to a strong start when Ally Maciel and Mariela Sarinana took an 8-2 match from the Seasiders' (24-0) Kanela Adamson and Jade Griffin. BYU-Hawaii No. 1 duo of Zhang and Xin (Summer) Wen quickly tied it up, defeating No. 17 Jamie Lee Denton and Kaylin Kruseman 8-3. No. 22 Cristina Lopez and Hannah Peterson gave St. Mary's the lead again with an 8-5 victory in No. 2 singles.

Facing an uphill battle for the second consecutive day, the Seasiders met the challenge in dominating fashion. No. 1 Zhang quickly dispatch No. 43 Denton 6-1, 6-2 and No. 20 Wen added her own 6-1, 6-2 victory over Kruseman to give BYU-Hawaii the 3-2 lead.

After falling behind in the first set, No. 46 Shu-Ying (Suzie) Hsieh won 6-4, 6-3 over her Rattler opponent to move within a point of the match victory. Griffin closed it out minutes later with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Peterson in No. 6 singles. Seasiders Jeong Min-Jeon and Min (Karen) Liu had both won the first set in their matches, but left them unfinished.

Thursday's semifinal will feature a pairing of the two top-ranked programs in the nation between BYU-Hawaii and No. 2 Saint Leo University a 9 a.m. MDT at the Gates Tennis Center. Live stats will be available online.

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