CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Charlotte 49ers women’s tennis team, seeded fifth, knocked off No. 12 seed Rhode Island, 4-0, Thursday afternoon in first round action at the Atlantic 10 Championships at The Boar’s Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va.

“Today was a good first round win against a tough Rhode Island team,” head coach Michaela Gorman said.

The Niners jumped out in front 1-0 thanks to clinching the doubles point for the 11th time this season. Charlotte (11-6) opened with an 8-2 victory at the No. 3 slot when Jessica Pérez and Alexandra Zinn topped the Rams’ Kristin Bertsch and Karolina Wojciak.

The point then fell to the 49ers as Anna Ekelund and Lisa Grosselius handed the No. 1 Rhode Island (6-14) pairing of Galina Chernykh and Kathleen Uy a tiebreaker loss, 9-7.
Using the momentum to its advantage, Charlotte picked up wins for the minimum three slots to seal the shutout.

Ekelund started things off with a quick 6-0, 6-0 decision over Lauren Benoit at the No. 5 spot, while Tyler Baker followed with a 6-0, 6-1 triumph against Lisa Sadovnikova in the No. 4 meeting.

Natsuko Takayanagi locked up the victory by handing Nithila Asokaraj a 6-3, 6-0 setback at the No. 2 position.

With the win, the 49ers advance to Friday’s quarterfinals. Charlotte will face No. 4 seed Richmond, who defeated No. 13 seed Butler earlier Thursday. First serve is slated for 10 a.m.

“We look forward to another great match tomorrow against Richmond.”

Charlotte 4, Rhode Island 0

No. 1 Alexandra Zinn (CHA) vs. Galina Chernykh (URI) DNF
No. 2 Natsuko Takayanagi (CHA) def. Nithila Asokaraj (URI) 6-3, 6-0
No. 3 Lisa Grosselius (CHA) vs. Kathleen Uy (URI) DNF
No. 4 Tyler Baker (CHA) def. Lisa Sadovnikova (URI) 6-0, 6-1
No. 5 Anna Ekelund (CHA) def. Lauren Benoit (URI) 6-0, 6-0
No. 6 Iveta Guneva (CHA) vs. Kristin Bertsch (URI) DNF

No. 1 Ekelund/Grosselius (CHA) def. Chernykh/Uy (URI) 9-7
No. 2 Baker/Takayanagi (CHA) vs. Asokaraj/Sadovnikova (URI) DNF
No. 3 Jessica Pérez/Zinn (CHA) def. Bertsch/Karolina Wojciak (URI) 8-2