ORLANDO, Fla. – Lifted by two come-from-behind singles wins, the ninth-seeded Saint Louis women’s tennis team defeated eighth-seeded Rhode Island 4-3 in an Atlantic 10 Conference Championship first-round match Wednesday afternoon at the USTA National Campus.


The Billikens advance to Thursday’s quarterfinals to face top-seeded and defending champion VCU. First serve is scheduled for 2 p.m. (CT).


Wednesday’s contest came down to the No. 5 singles match between Alba Salinas and Paulina Loredo. Salinas overcame a narrow loss in the opening set to win going away, 6-7, 6-4, 6-1.


SLU’s other comeback triumph occurred at No. 3 singles. Mika Misgav dropped the first set before overpowering Mihaela Codreanu 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, knotting the match 3-3.


Saint Louis took a 1-0 lead by claiming the doubles point. Ally McKenzie and Cassie McKenzie topped Codreanu and Erin Chratian 6-4 at No. 1, while Salinas and Misgav were 6-3 winners over Loredo and Tiara Higuchi at No. 2.


Rhode Island won three of the first four completed singles matches. Ally McKenzie provided SLU’s only victory during that stretch, downing Higuchi 6-2, 6-3 at No. 2.