National

2023 NCAA Championships: Barry extends reign with sixth straight D2 women's crown

Arthur Kapetanakis | May 16, 2023


The women of Barry University extended their unprecedented dominance of Division II tennis by winning a sixth straight NCAA title on Tuesday night at the USTA National Campus.

 

The Buccaneers rallied after losing the doubles point against first-time finalists Nova Southeastern, winning four singles matches without reply to claim a 4-1 victory against their South Florida neighbors. Barry also extended its winning streak to 90 matches by beating their Sunshine State Conference rivals for the third time this season.

“It's been a great ride for us," said head coach Avi Kigel. "We really are not too focused on extending streaks. We're just wanting to win this year. It's been a long, tough year.

 

"But I'm so proud of the girls to keep fighting throughout everything and finding a way to win the match for us and bring the championship back to Barry.”

 

The Buccaneers dropped the doubles point in all three of their meetings with against Nova Southeastern this season, but Tuesday's outcome was particularly tough after defeat in a decisive tiebreak at the No. 3 spot.

 

Undeterred, Barry picked up wins at the No. 1, 2, 5 and 6 singles spots, with sophomore Selina Pichler clinching on Court 5 behind a 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 result. The matches at No. 3 and 4 were locked in third sets at the conclusion of the final.

Coming one day after the Barry men won Division II tournament for the fourth straight year, the women's victory completed a fourth straight trophy sweep for the school's tennis teams. With eight titles, the women's program has tied Armstrong Atlantic for the most in Division II tennis history. Their latest title is the 28th overall for Barry, including 23 since 2004.

 

Read more on USTA.com: Barry men win D2 title

Adding further significance to the triumph was the fact that it came at this historic NCAA Championships, with all three divisions crowning champions at the same site for the first time. 

 

Barry senior Deniz Khazan enjoyed sharing the USTA National Campus with the other divisions and took pride in performing under the spotlight. 

 

“We showed that we are on the map," she said. "Because usually we don't see [Division I schools], they don't see us. They have no idea what we represent and what level we represent. And I think they're all kind of like, ‘Oh, they're actually pretty good players out there [even though] they're not in our circuit.’ I think it's very nice.

 

“I feel like a lot of our girls could actually play in Division I and our team could be maybe Top 15 in the country if it's D1. I'm sure we would give it a fight.”

 

For Nova Southeastern, their historic season ends with a record of 26-4 after a trip to their first national title match, those 26 wins setting a program record. 

 

Nova graduate student Julie Razafindranaly played for Barry as an undergrad and found herself on the other side of the net from the Buccaneers in the final. Despite the defeat, she was proud of her new team's effort both on the day and over the course of the season.

“It was a little bit of a weird moment for me, as I was with that team before and now with Nova," she explained. "We were fighting for each other and I think that is the beauty of playing in college tennis: to have the sensation that you're not playing only for yourself, as tennis is an individual sport, [but] you're playing for everyone. That is a feeling that we cannot take from each other. I think it's for that, that we're here in the final. We fought. There were tough players against us but we fought until the last point.”

 

For more information, including tickets, draws and schedule, visit the USTA's NCAA Championships homepage. For all the latest news from the Division I, II and III tournaments, visit USTA.com's news landing page for the event.

 

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