April 21, 2013

Women's tennis closes out non-conference slate against Salisbury

SALISBURY, Md. - The Haverford College women's tennis team came up short in its bid to defeat regional foe Salisbury University for the second consecutive year as the visiting Fords fell 6-3 on Sunday afternoon in their final non-conference contest of the season.

Aiming to snap the hosts' 18-match winning streak, Haverford (10-5) looked for a strong start in doubles but the Sea Gulls (19-2) had other ideas as they moved out to a 3-0 advantage.

The Fords, ranked 11th in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Atlantic South Region, seemed poised to rally when they registered victories in two of the first three singles matches but Salisbury managed to hold on for the win.

Junior Kate Donches, at No. 6, and freshman Robyn Himelstein, at No. 3, provided Haverford's first two points of the day with straight-set victories of 6-4, 6-1 and 6-3, 6-3, respectively.

The Sea Gulls, ranked seventh in the Atlantic South, received the match-clinching point from Victoria Handlin at No. 5. Salisbury has now won 19 straight after opening the season with back-to-back defeats.

Junior Alex Ferrara accounted for the Fords' final point of the day at No. 2 after Caitlin Gallagher, the 14th-ranked singles player in the region, suffered her first singles loss of the spring to Natalie Savage at No. 1. Ferrara stormed back from a close loss in the first set to take the match in convincing fashion (5-7, 6-1, 6-3).

Currently tied for third place in the Centennial Conference, Haverford turns its attention to the final week of the regular season. The Fords host rival Swarthmore College on Thursday at 4 p.m. before heading to Gettysburg College on Saturday. Thursday's match against the Garnet will be the final regular-season home appearance for seniors Celia Tong and Rachal Torg.