Fords suffer first home loss of the season on Senior Day

HAVERFORD, Pa. - The Haverford College women's tennis team suffered its first home loss of the season on Thursday night as the Fords fell to visiting Swarthmore College, 7-2, in Centennial Conference action.

Haverford, ranked 11th in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Atlantic South Region, entered the match a perfect 6-0 at home this season. Boasting an undefeated Centennial record in 2013, the Garnet (12-2, 9-0 CC) presented a challenge. 

Looking to snap Swarthmore's seven-match winning streak, the Fords (10-6, 6-3) jumped out to a 1-0 lead on the day. The third doubles pairing of Kate Donches and Rachal Torg earned Haverford's first point with an 8-5 win over Jackie Lane and Kelsey Johnson. Swarthmore managed to pull out tight victories in the other two doubles matches to take a 2-1 advantage into singles action.

The Fords tied the match at 2-2 when Alex Ferrara, playing at No. 2, registered her 13th singles victory of the spring.

Haverford continued to battle throughout the remainder of singles play but the rival Garnet, the eighth-ranked squad in the Atlantic South, moved to 9-0 in conference action this season.

Caitlin Gallagher, at No. 1, and Donches, at No. 6, pushed their opponents to the limit before losing in three-set affairs. In a match featuring the last two Centennial players of the week, Gallagher gave Lia Carlson all she could handle before falling 1-0 (10-6) in the third set after the match moved indoors due to darkness.

Donches fought back from a one-set deficit against Lane to register a 6-2 victory in set two. Also forced inside by darkness, Lane outlasted Donches for a 7-5 win in the final set.

Swarthmore's victory cuts the Fords' lead to two points, 7.5-5.5, in the Hood Trophy competition between the two schools.

The contest was the last regular-season home appearance for Haverford seniors Torg and Celia Tong.

The Fords, seeded fourth for the upcoming conference tournament, travel to Gettysburg College (8-7, 3-6) on Saturday for the final match of the regular season at 1 p.m.