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Top Three Seeds advance at ITA Division III National Women's Team Indoor Championship

Host DePauw ousted by Chicago

 

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GREENCASTLE, IN (Feb. 27) - The higher seeds fared well, but it was host DePauw University that was the lone upset on Friday at the 2015 ITA Division III National Women's Team Indoor Championship.

 

Tomorrow's 2pm EST semifinals will pit top-seeded Johns Hopkins against (5) Chicago and (2) Carnegie Mellon will take on (3) Washington University-St. Louis. Consolation matches will be played at 8:30am, with the 5th- and 7th-place matches scheduled for 7:30pm.

 

(3) Washington University-St. Louis def. (6) Skidmore, 8-1

Washington University-St. Louis cruised past Skidmore to ensure at least matching their best ever finish at the ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championship. In 2012, the Bears finished fourth and their win on Friday guarantees a Top 4 finish.

Rebecca Ho, Wash U.-St. Louis

 

Wash U.-St. Louis won three closely-contested doubles matches to gain an early 3-0 edge. The match looked to be secure when the Bears grabbed a set and 5-0 leads at both Nos. 1 and 2 singles, but the Thoroughbreds kept battling. Both Skidmore players fought back to 4-5, with Thoroughbred sophomore Madie Benn even forcing a tie-break. At second singles, Jamie Silverberg won the very next game to close out a 6-3, 6-4 victory.

 

"They just had to get focused, they couldn't get complacent," Wash U.-St. Louis head coach Kelly Stahlhuth said. "They couldn't let their minds wander. They gave Skidmore an inch and they took it. They weren't going to just roll over, they were going to fight."

 

Bear sophomore Rebecca Ho closed the door by claiming a 7-4 win in the tie-break, clinching the match for Wash U.-St. Louis.

 

"It's nice to get that first match under our belt," Stahlhuth said. "I knew Skidmore would be tough. We have three new doubles teams. We've been close the last few matches we've had, which is good because it's forcing us to stay out there longer, but we still have to get more comfortable and be a little more aggressive."

 

(2) Carnegie Mellon def. (7) Washington & Lee, 5-4

In a match that spanned over seven hours, Carnegie Mellon avenged a loss from the final of the 2012 ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championship in a 5-4 victory over Washington & Lee.

Cori Sidell, Carnegie Mellon

 

"Every time we play Washington & Lee, it always seems to be 5-4," Carnegie Mellon head coach Andy Girard said. "They're a team we have a lot of respect for and we always have these really close battles with them. I knew it was going to be 5-4 today, we're fortunate that we ended up on the right side of it."

 

After splitting second and third doubles matches, the Tartans held a 7-4 lead at No. 1 doubles. The Generals ripped off four straight games to gain control, but the Carnegie Mellon pair of senior Bryn Raschke and freshman Cori Sidell forced a tie-break. The Tartans emerged victorious, 8-6 in the tie-break against the Washington & Lee duo of Sonja Meighan and Patricia Kirkland, two-time runners-up at the USTA/ITA National Small College Championship.

 

The Tartans won two of the first three singles matches to garner a 4-2 lead, but the Generals stormed back with wins at Nos. 4 and 5 singles to put the team match on the result of sixth singles. Carnegie Mellon's Raschke utilized her wide array of shots to register her second win of the day to push the Tartans into the semifinals.

 

"Bryn has a unique playing style," Girard said. "When she's playing it, she's a really tough player to beat. In the second set, she went away from it a little bit. In the third set, she got back there and started doing what she can do well. As a senior, getting two huge wins at first doubles and sixth singles are keys to victory."

 

(1) Johns Hopkins def. (8) Sewanee, 6-3

Two-time defending champion Johns Hopkins won its eighth straight match at the ITA National Team Indoors, defeating first-time participant Sewanee, 6-3. The Blue Jays won two of three doubles matches, with the Tigers upending them at line one.

Ashnaa Rao, Johns Hopkins

 

USTA/ITA National Small College Singles Champion Ashnaa Rao earned a win at first singles, really finding her form and flooding the court with winners in the second set of a 6-2, 6-1 win over Sewanee's Bronte Goodhue.

 

"Ashnaa's playing great," Johns Hopkins head coach Dave Woodring said. "She had a great fall. We're hoping to build on that for the rest of the year and looking forward to having a great year."

 

Junior Sydney Lehman picked up a win for the Blue Jays at third singles, paving the way for sophomore Jody Law to clinch the win for Johns Hopkins at fourth singles. Law led Sewanee's Clementina Davila 5-2 in the second set before Davila held serve and broke Law while she served for the match. Law sealed the deal with a big forehand winner on match point to push the Blue Jays into the semifinals.

 

"Jody has been the clincher," Woodring said. "Last year at the NCAA's, she did the same thing. She came out on fire, ran through the girl in the first set and got a little tight before finishing the job. She's always a girl that you can count on."

 

(5) Chicago def. (4) DePauw, 6-3

With the seven-hour thriller from earlier still chugging along, the top two doubles matches started first. Chicago took control early in both matches, winning 8-3 on both courts. When court six cleared, DePauw struck back with an 8-6 victory by Taylor Mahr and Carolyn Huerth.

Lucy Tang, Chicago

 

Chicago head coach Jay Tee emphasized the importance of the strong start in doubles.

 

"It was huge," he said. "They had a plan going in and they really executed the plan the whole time. Even though we didn't win third, I think the team saw that if we played smart and followed the plan, we could be successful today."

 

In singles, however, the Maroons recorded three straight wins to clinch team victory. Freshman Ariana Iranpour made her presence felt with a decisive 6-0, 6-1 win over Tiger senior Claire Marshall. With the 3-1 lead, Chicago's Megan Tang and Tiffany Chen turned in nearly simultaneous triumphs to push the Maroons to a 5-1 lead, clinching victory.

 

"We feel pretty good after that," Tee said. "DePauw is so good and tough at home. We lost to them twice last year after beating them here, so it was a good statement for us to come out and play the way we did. Getting that quick lead and Ariana's quick singles win allowed us to breathe a little easier and play more freely."

 

For complete coverage of the 2015 ITA Division III National Women's Team Indoor Championship, please visit the official ITA event page. Follow the ITA on Twitter@ITAtennis, for updates and news from the weekend's events and be sure to like us on Facebook for photos and more. Use the hashtag #D3Indoors for all tweets in regards to the event, or search the term "D3Indoors" to find others who are tweeting from across the nation about this year's championship.

 

About the ITA Division III National Women's Team Indoor Championships

The ITA Division III National Women's Team Indoor Championship is held annually each February. The women's event began in 2009 and will be held for the seventh time in 2015. The event features eight participating teams and is held over three days, beginning on Friday with the quarterfinals, followed by semifinals on Saturday and the final on Sunday. Two different schools have hosted the event, while Emory (2), Johns Hopkins (2), Carnegie Mellon (1) and Washington & Lee (1) are past champions.