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Women's Tennis Opens Centennial Conference Tournament on Tuesday

Greta Koch
Greta Koch

HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College women's tennis team will begin its postseason journey this Tuesday as it hosts fifth-seeded Washington College in a 3 p.m. start. The fourth-seeded Fords (9-7, 7-3 CC) had a crucial 5-4 win against the Shorewomen (10-7, 6-4 CC) during the regular season. Haverford enters the match ranked 13th in the Atlantic South Region while Washington College is 15th.

The winner of Tuesday's first round match will advance to the conference semifinals where a meeting with top-seeded Johns Hopkins awaits. That semifinal match in Baltimore would be slated for a 3 p.m. start with the conference championship match to be played on Sunday.

Haverford is making its eighth appearance in the Centennial Conference Tournament during the past nine seasons. The Fords had made eight straight trips before that string was snapped last spring. In six of the seven previous postseason appearances, the Fords have at least made it to the Centennial Conference semifinals. Haverford's only finals appearance came during the 2014 season.

The Fords traveled to Chestertown for the regular season meeting between these two schools in the beginning of April. In that matchup, Haverford rallied from a 5-4 deficit at No. 2 doubles to claim two of the three doubles matches before evenly splitting the singles play.

Haverford's second doubles pairing of Jane Bary and Emily Shutman used the momentum of that match to help them finish the regular season with a record of 7-2 in conference matches. They have won three straight together entering Tuesday. Clara Farrehi and Jessica Liu finished 7-3 in conference play this spring together primarily at No. 3 doubles. That pairing was an 8-0 winner when these teams first met.

Greta Koch and Abby Payson made up the Fords' top double team during the regular season, finishing with five wins together – four of which came against conference opponents.

In singles, Liu is leading the Fords with 12 wins on the year and has gone a perfect 8-0 in conference play with her matches coming mostly at No. 6. She has won her last eight matches in singles as only one of her victories has gone to a third set this year. Her fellow co-captain, Payson, has eight wins in singles. Payson went 4-4 against Centennial Conference competition in singles.

Bary, playing primarily at No. 4 singles, posted a 6-1 record in conference singles matches. Bary was a straight-set winner in the first matchup with Washington College and has won six of her last seven matches entering the playoffs. Rory Lewis also won her match at No. 5 singles against Washington College in straight sets. The Fords' sophomore has five wins in singles with each of those wins coming during a 5-3 Centennial Conference campaign.

Haverford will be looking to flip a pair of hard-fought defeats in the top two positions that went to the Shorewomen in the first meeting. Koch fell in a three-set match against the Shorewomen back in early April. She has three wins on the year and 26 singles victories over her career. Shutman has assumed the No. 1 singles position for the Fords during her rookie campaign. She has five wins to her credit this year and will be looking to avenge a defeat at Washington which featured a first set tiebreak.