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Knights beat Bethel in MIAC Playoffs Final, earn bid to NCAA Championships

May 5, 2019 at 5:15 pm
2019 MIAC Playoffs Champion
2019 MIAC Playoffs Champion
Photo: Ruthie Yankwitt '22

NORTHFIELD, Minn. – The Carleton College women’s tennis team captured the MIAC Playoffs championship and secured a bid to the NCAA Championships after registering a 5-2 victory over visiting Bethel University in the conference tournament finals.

This will be the Knights’ (18-2) seventh trip as a team to the national tournament. Carleton previously participated in the NCAA Championships in 1995, 1996, 2005, 2012, 2013, and 2014.

“Awesome day for Carleton tennis,” said Carleton head coach Luciano Battaglini. “Congratulations to Bethel for such a great season. It was a very, very competitive match. It comes down to down to a few points here and there during crucial moments.”

Carleton, which went 10-0 in MIAC play to capture the conference’s regular-season title and is ranked No. 27 in the nation, opened up a 3-0 lead on Sunday by sweeping doubles.

The Knights notched their first team point with an 8-6 victory at third doubles as Sonya Romanenko (Fy./San Diego, Calif./Rancho Bernardo) and Elizabeth Yim (So./Orange, Calif./Villa Park) improved to 11-2 on the season.

The first doubles match was next to finish and pitted a pair of nationally-ranked duos against one another. Carleton’s Kristina Conrad (Sr./Plymouth, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong) and Madeline Prins (Jr./Pacific Palisades, Calif./Palisades Charter) are listed at No. 22, while Bethel’s (20-5) pairing of sisters Grace and Maggie Riermann was slotted at No. 10. After a back-and-forth battle early, Conrad and Prins got on a roll and secured an 8-3 triumph.

The second doubles match was a grind-it-out affair where Faith Yim (So./Orange, Calif./Villa Park) and Jeanny Zhang (Fy./Guangzhou, China/Dwight School) shook off a pair of late break points and picked up the 8-6 result.

After Bethel closed the gap with a pair of victories in singles, Faith Yim moved Carleton closer to the team victory with her 6-4, 6-3 victory at the fifth spot. Prins closed out the match with her 6-5, 7-5 triumph at fourth singles. 

“We’re looking forward to playing next week, and hopefully we’ll represent our region and the MIAC in the best way possible,” Battaglini said.

The 49-team bracket for the NCAA Championships is to be released on by 11:00 a.m. Central Time on Monday, May 6

#27 Carleton College 5, #38 Bethel University 2
Singles competition

1. #9 Grace Riermann (BUW) def. #8 Sonya Romanenko (CAR) 6-0, 6-0
2. #21 Maggie Riermann (BUW) def. #18 Jeanny Zhang (CAR) 6-1, 6-2
3. Kristina Conrad (CAR) vs. Mackenzie Novak (BUW) 7-5, 5-4, unfinished
4. Madeline Prins (CAR) def. Jill Weinzettel (BUW) 6-4, 7-5
5. Faith Yim (CAR) def. Sydney Rott (BUW) 6-4, 6-3
6. Elizabeth Yim (CAR) vs. Meghan Schuler (BUW) 4-6, 5-5, unfinished

Doubles competition
1. Kristina Conrad/Madeline Prins (CAR) def. Grace Riermann/Maggie Riermann (BUW) 8-3
2. Jeanny Zhang/Faith Yim (CAR) def. Mackenzie Novak/Jill Weinzettel (BUW) 8-6
3. Sonya Romanenko/Elizabeth Yim (CAR) def. Sydney Rott/Meghan Schuler (BUW) 8-5