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Knights Can’t Ground Flying Fleet

March 22, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Photo Gallery by Julie Mall

HILTON HEAD, S.C. – One day after facing the No. 6 team in the nation, the Carleton College women’s tennis team battled Erskine College, a nationally-ranked Division II program. Sophomores Molly Hemes (Green Bay, Wis./Preble) and Anne Lombardi (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central) accounted for all of the Knights scoring in a 6-3 defeat as the pair won at doubles and singles. Like yesterday, the match was close with three of the singles matches necessitating a third-set super tiebreaker.

Carleton is ranked No. 21 in the nation, and this is the first time the Knights (7-3) have lost consecutive matches in a year. During last season’s Spring Break trip, Carleton dropped matches against a pair of top-15 Division III squads before absorbing a 6-3 setback against Erskine.

Hemes and Lombardi notched Carleton’s lone victory in doubles, prevailing 8-5 at the second spot. Lombardi came back and recorded a 6-2, 6-2 triumph at third singles. Hemes dropped the opening set at fifth singles but rallied back and posted a 4-6, 7-5, 11-9 victory.

Seniors Erin Gudul (North Oaks, Minn./Mounds View) and Kathryn Schmidt (Hopkins, Minn./Hopkins) also sent their singles matches to super tiebreakers. Gudul won the opener but came up short 4-6, 6-3, 10-3 at the fourth slot.

The momentum swung back and forth at first singles where Schmidt, ranked No. 3 in the D-III central region, battled Corin Hallman, ranked No. 18 in the D-II southeast region. Hallman nabbed the first set 6-2, but Carleton’s leader countered with a 6-2 win in the second set. Hallman seized control in the tiebreaker with a 10-3 decision.

Carleton will face another quality opponent on Saturday, March 24 when the Knights face University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, currently ranked No. 30 in the nation.