Women's Tennis Defeats Regionally-Ranked Oglethorpe, 5-4

Abby Payson
Abby Payson

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Haverford College women's tennis team got a regionally-ranked victory against Oglethorpe (4-3) by a 5-4 score to highlight its final day of competition in Florida. The Fords (2-3) then challenged themselves against Division I Western Carolina (9-4), falling by a 7-0 score in the second match.

Oglethorpe entered the day as the No. 13 team in the ITA's Atlantic South Regional rankings. Haverford found itself trailing by a 2-1 score after doubles but rolled to four straight set victories in singles to complete the comeback. The Fords nearly made it a clean sweep of singles, but dropped a pair of 10-point tiebreaks.

Jane Bary and Rory Lewis got Haverford's first point of the day at No. 3 singles. That win marked the third straight for the Fords' third pairing. The 8-3 final in Haverford's favor was the most dominant win of the doubles matches. Oglethorpe claimed the top two positions with an 8-6 win at No. 1 doubles and 8-5 win at No. 2 doubles.

Part of one of the doubles teams to suffer a tough defeat, co-captain Abby Payson came right back with a standout effort in singles as she did not allow a game to her opponent at No. 3. Payson's win made it back-to-back victories in her singles matches on the trip. Emily Shutman also bounced back from a tough defeat at No. 2 doubles to rally for a 6-3, 6-0 win in the top singles spot. Shutman's victory was the first of the rookie's career at No. 1.

Haverford did get two wins from Bary as she emerged a 6-4, 6-3 winner at the No. 4 singles spot. Bary's win was her second straight in Florida. The clinching point of the match came from Jia-Ling Tuan at the No. 6 position. With the Fords leading 4-3, No. 5 and No. 6 singles were the only matches remaining on court. Nevertheless, the pressure did not get to the junior as she posted 6-4 and 6-3 set wins to seal the team victory.

Despite dropping tough matches at Nos. 2 and 5 singles, those were the only matches to go to a 10-point tiebreak. In the second doubles match, Greta Koch forced the tiebreak with a 6-3 second set win. However, she fell by a 10-6 score in the tiebreak. At No. 5, Lewis' opponent needed extra points in the tiebreak to deny the Ford her second win of the day. Lewis was also defeated in a first set tiebreak before she rolled to a 6-3 second set win.

In the match against the Division I Catamounts, it was Koch at No. 1 singles who mounted the toughest opposition. Koch won four games in the opening set and two more in the second set against her opponent. The Fords also won at least one game in the second through fifth singles positions and each of the three doubles matches. Doubles were scored as just a single team point playing against a Division I opponent.

With the competition schedule completed for the week, women's tennis will spend the rest of Spring Break training for the remainder of its schedule up north. The first of those matches when the team returns to Pennsylvania will be Saturday, March 18 as the Fords travel to Wilkes for a 3 p.m. first serve. Wilkes is currently ranked 19th in the Atlantic South Region.