TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Northeastern State, ranked 14th in NCAA Division II, beat Eastern New Mexico University 5-0 Friday in semifinal round play of the Central Regional tennis tournament.
The Lady Reds (21-3) were slated to meet Drury on Saturday for the right to advance to national competition next week at Altamonte Springs, Fla. Drury won its semifinal match on Friday over Cameron 5-1.
ENMU (9-9) gave Northeastern a decent battle in the three doubles matches, but lost all of them. The Lady Reds then picked up wins from Zorana Stefanovic, ranked No. 4 in Division II, over Lisa Weinman 6-2, 6-1 at No. 1 singles and from Jennie Howard, who rallied from an early 3-1 deficit to beat ENMU’s Erica Kelly 6-3, 6-0 at No. 6 singles.
That clinched the win for NSU, and the other four singles matches were not completed.
Stefanovic and her partner at No. 1 doubles, Neus Barbera, are ranked No. 10 in Division II in doubles.
Weinman and partner Bethanie Nix concluded the season at 15-5 in No. 1 doubles, while Rhiannon Torrez and Janelle Sanchez finished 16-4 at No. 2 and Sarah Salazar and Kelly were 7-12 at No. 3. Final singles records were Weinman 8-13, Nix 15-7, Torrez 15-4, Sanchez 11-6, Salazar 7-10 and Kelly 6-12.
The tournament berth was the seventh in a row for ENMU, and marked only the second time in that stretch that the Zias were knocked out in the first round. ENMU won its only regional title in 2000 in a tournament played at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond.