TIFTON -- For the 10th straight year, the Abraham Baldwin Fillies tennis team are the Region XVII champions. ABAC won the title Saturday morning with an 8-1 win over the Middle Georgia College Lady Warriors.

With the championship in hand, ABAC will now travel to College Station, Texas, to take part in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) national tournament. That will begin May 4.

Fillies coach Alton Hudgins said he was "happy with the win."

He added, "it has been an enjoyable year. This has been a good group of people to be with."

Ingrid Ebensperger was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.

ABAC's number one singles player, Ebensperger was in a tight match early on with Middle Georgia's Sherell Carey. Up 3-2 in the first set, the Fillies sophomore ran off nine straight games to win 6-2, 6-0.

At number two singles, ABAC's Chenelle Kruger had little trouble with Jodi Burress. In a match that took less than 45 minutes, Kruger won 6-0, 6-0.

Ocilla native Paige Latham took a 6-1, 6-2 win at number four singles. The ABAC sophomore defeated Hannah Glenn of Middle Georgia.

ABAC's Kate Magill won her number five singles match 6-3, 6-0. The former Tift County Lady Devil defeated Jenna Royal of Middle Georgia College.

At number six singles, ABAC's Shea Russell won by default as Middle Georgia only brought five players.

In doubles play, Ebensperger and Kruger teamed up for a 8-1 win over Carey and Burress.

Fitzgerald's Katie Rayl teamed with Magill to win 8-5 at number two doubles. They defeated Royal and Rachel Owen.

Sophomore Haley Clarke and Latham won at number three doubles by default.

The only loss ABAC suffered on the day came at number three singles. Rayl was defeated by Owen, 6-4, 6-0.

Saturday meant Clarke, Latham, Magill and Kruger won league titles in each of their two seasons at ABAC.

"I am going to miss our sophomores. They had a great two years for us," said Hudgins.

The sophomores will have one more time on the court for ABAC as the Fillies, "will now get ready for Texas," according to Hudgins.

"We want to go out there and do the best we can," said Hudgins.

ABAC will enter the tournament as the number 10 team in the latest national poll.



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