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Manatees Finish Season in Nation's Top 5

Manatees Finish Season in Nation's Top 5

Bradenton, Fla - State College of Florida Women's Tennis entered the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Championship ranked fifth in the final Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Poll.  For the Manatees the return to the national tournament came after a two year hiatus.  For Coach Murphy, it marked her first trip to the tournament as the SCF head coach.  The last time she was in Tyler, Texas, she was a student-athlete on an SCF team that finished eighth in the nation.

Entering the tournament all Manatees singles players were seeded in their respective flights. The highest seeded players were, fourth seeds: Sara Ramirez Goncalves and Laura Illanes Rodriguez. Camille Portalier was the fifth seed in the Flight four singles.  Seeded sixth in their flights were one singles, Zeba Jamal and five singles, Brie Botsford.  At the number two position, Sara Jamal was seeded seventh. 

Sara Ramirez Goncalves made the Manatees deepest run in to the tournament.  After receiving a first round bye, she defeated Copiah-Lincoln in straight sets in the second round of the Flight three draw.  In the quarter finals she defeated Laredo, again in straight sets.  She fell to the eventual Flight three champion from ASA- Miami.

Sara Jamal, Camille Portalier, Brie Botsford, and Laura Illanes-Rodrigeuz each advanced to the quarterfinals.  Sara Jamal won her first two matches in straight sets before falling in the quarterfinals to Tyler.  Portalier received a bye in Flight four singles.  She won her second round match and fell in the quarterfinals to Cowley.  Brie Botsford held her first two opponents pointless, winning both 6-0, 6-0.  Botsford lost in the quarterfinals to Tyler.  In the Flight six singles, Laura Illanes Rodriguez, also fell in the quarterfinals.  She received a bye in the first round and won 6-0, 6-0 in the second round.  She eventually to Cowley in the quarterfinals. 

The #1 doubles team of Sara Jamal and Sara Ramirez Goncalves made a run to the national quarterfinals.   The Manatees defeated Cowley and Laredo in the first two rounds.  SCF met up with with region foe, ASA-Miami in the quarterfinals.  After taking the first set, ASA-Miami took the last two sets and the match.  The #2 doubles team of Zeba Jamal and Camille Portalier were defeated in their opening match.  However, they bounced back and won the Flight two consolation bracket. This gave the Manatees much needed team points.  The #3 doubles team of Brie Botsford and Diarra Thomas received a bye in the first round.  The Manatees defeated Jones in straight sets in the second round.  ASA-Miami proved to be too much in the quarterfinals and #3 doubles was defeated 6-3, 6-2. 

The Manatees earned 26 points throughout the tournament.  The point total placed the Manatees in a tie for fifth in the nation.  ASA-Miami won the national championship.  Florida had a very good showing as four of the five teams from Florida finished in the top five in the nation.