The Carleton College women’s tennis team got its third straight trip to the NCAA Championships and was off to a successful start with a convincing 5-0 first-round victory over Westminster College (Pa.).
The Knights were not about to overlook the Titans, who were making their first-ever trip to the national tournament.
Carleton took care of business by sweeping the doubles contests and then made quick work of Westminster in singles to close out the match.
Anne Lombardi ’14 and Joyce Yu ’16 took the first point of the match at first doubles posting an 8-1 victory, followed shortly by an 8-2 at third doubles by Katherine Greenberg ’14 and Molly Hemes ’14.
The duo of Mikayla Becich ’16 and Grace Davis ’16 took the third point for the Knights in an 8-0 sweep at second doubles to give the Knights an early 3-0 match lead.
Moving into singles, the Knights showed no signs of slowing down, winning the first set at all six flights, five of them by 6-0 scores. It quickly became a race to see who would tally the fourth and fifth team points.
Greenberg moved Carleton to the cusp of the team victory thanks to her 6-0, 6-0 result at sixth singles Claire Spencer ’16 won by the same score at second singles, giving the Knights the decisive fifth team point.
After prevailing in each of their first sets, 6-0, Becich, Hemes, and Yu were holding 4-1, 3-2, and 5-0 leads in the second sets of their respective tilts when the match reached decision.
Unfortunately for the Knights, their first-round success did not translate into their second-round matchup against the University of Chicago.
The season came to an end for the No. 24-ranked squad with a 5-2 loss to the nationally No. 12-ranked Maroons on their home courts. The tight match sent the final four singles matches to the third set.
The Knights (19-3) dropped the first two matches in doubles before Lombardi and Yu took down the region’s third-ranked tandem of Megan Tang and Tiffany Chen by an 8-5 tally.
Upon moving to singles, both sides won the first set in three matches.
Tang, the top-ranked singles player in the region, avenged her doubles loss with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Lombardi at first singles. Chicago picked up its fourth team point with a 6-4, 7-5 victory at sixth singles.
Becich got a point back for Carleton with her 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 triumph at third singles, but Chicago closed out the match with a three-wet win at second singles.
The fourth and fifth singles contests were also in a third set when the match reached decision.
This was the final match in the playing careers of Lombardi, Greenberg, and Hemes.
That trio has been a part of two MIAC regular-season titles, three MIAC Playoff Championships, and three trips to the NCAA Championships, including opening-round victories each time.
Their contributions on the court will be certainly be missed by what has been an incredibly successful Knights’ tennis program these past few seasons.