news-category: Athletics

Gardner-Webb Women’s Tennis Advances to First Ever Big South Championship

The women's tennis team gets directions from the coach on the court
Photo courtesy Tim Cowie

Matchup to be held in Charlotte on Saturday, April 23

BOILING SPRINGS, NC – Gardner-Webb University will advance to the finals of the 2022 Big South Conference Women’s Tennis Championship on Saturday, April 23. Gardner-Webb (No. 3 seed) will make its first appearance in the Big South finals since joining the conference in 2009. The Big South Championship is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the Marian Diehl Tennis Center on 2219 Tyvola Road in Charlotte, N.C.

Gardner-Webb President Dr. William Downs celebrates the team achievement of reaching this monumental moment. “We are all so excited for Coach (Jim) Corn and everyone on the team, because playing for a championship is any competitor’s ultimate dream.” Downs added, “What a moment. What an opportunity. Whatever the outcome on Saturday, I’m proud of how our student-athletes have excelled this season and I’m proud of how they’ve represented GWU. This group of tennis players is going to be remembered and revered for a long time.”

In his 16th season as head coach, Jim Corn feels his team earned their way to this day, “We got kicked pretty good the first of the season, and this team decided to go to work, and good things started to happen,” he praised. “We kept gaining confidence, and kept working, and now we’re in position to reach one of our goals. The girls are still hungry for more success, so that’s a real positive going into tomorrow’s match. Thanks so much to the entire Bulldog Nation for all the support; it has been tremendous!”

The ‘Dawgs finished conference play with a 6-2 record, the team’s best winning percentage (0.750) in Big South matches in school history. The six conference wins also tied their record for the most in a single year. This season marks the third consecutive year that Gardner-Webb earned a top-four seed for the tournament.

Chuck Burch, vice president for Athletics echoed the sentiments shared by Downs. “(This historic opportunity) is the culmination of a very good conference season, and we are excited about the possibility of bringing the Big South Championship back to Boiling Springs and the Gardner-Webb campus!”

Gardner-Webb will take on the winner of Friday’s matchup between No. 1 Charleston Southern and No. 4 UNC-Asheville matchup. Charleston Southern went undefeated in the Big South to take the top overall seed for back-to-back years.

Teodora Ristic

The Big South Conference recently announced the winners of its annual awards with three Gardner-Webb players receiving honors. GWU’s Teodora Ristic was named the Player of the Year for the conference after going 8-0 in conference matches.

In addition to winning Player of the Year, Ristic was also named the First-Team for Singles and Doubles with her partner Maria Jardim. Ristic ended the year on an 11-match win streak in singles, with 10 of these being won in straight sets. In doubles, Ristic and Jardim collected an 11-4 record during the year, going 6-1 in Big South matches. The pair started conference play unbeaten through their first five matches. This is the sixth consecutive year that a GWU duo has been named All-Big South. Jardim also received a spot on the Big South’s All-Academic Team carrying a 3.94 GPA and is pursuing a degree in economics/finance.
 
Manon Delsol also received a spot on the conference’s First-Team for singles with a 9-5 record in the regular season and a 5-3 finish to conference play. Delsol began Big South play with a perfect 4-0 mark, collecting wins over Hampton, UNC-Asheville, Longwood, and Radford. Last season, Delsol was named to the Conference’s Second-Team for singles.

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to six professional schools, 14 academic departments, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at Gardner-Webb.edu.

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