Carnegie Mellon, Johns Hopkins Set Sights on 2013 ITA Division III
National Women’s Team Indoor Championship Crown
DePauw claims fifth with two victories on Saturday
GREENCASTLE, Ind. (March 2) – The final of the 2013 ITA Division III National Women’s Team Indoor Championship is set, as Carnegie Mellon and Johns Hopkins will face off on Sunday in the championship match. The Tartans were impressive again, recording an 8-1 victory over Trinity, while Johns Hopkins scored a 6-3 upset of top seed Chicago.
Carnegie Mellon started strong just as they did yesterday, taking control of two doubles courts immediately. Chelsea Motie and Bryn Raschke were dominate on court two, securing an 8-1 decision to get the Tartans on the board. Katie Cecil and Angela Pratt followed that up with an 8-3 triumph at the first position. Trinity was able to salvage the point on court three in a match that was very back and forth. The Tigers’ Kristy Hamilton and Stephanie Williamson took the early lead, but saw Alex Tapak and Brooke Tsu rally for a 5-4 advantage. Knowing their team could not afford to fall behind 3-0, Hamilton and Williamson won the final five games for an 8-5 win.
Leading 2-1 at the start of singles play, Cecil and Motie delivered quick victories for Carnegie Mellon. Motie was first off the court, cruising past Thavindra Ekanayake 6-1, 6-4, controlling the points from the baseline with her huge forehand. Cecil didn’t need much more time, getting through a tough opening set against Mackenzie Knoop to win in straight sets 6-4, 6-1.
The Tartans had to work for the clinching victory, which came via a three set win by Elizabeth Martin over Kylie Hornbeck at the third spot. Hornbeck took the opening set 6-4 and continued her strong play early in the second set, seemingly ready to give the Tigers another point. However, Martin began to find the range from the baseline and took over the majority of the rallies. She won the second set 6-3 and raced out to a big lead in the final set, closing it out at 6-2.
Carnegie’s bottom half of the lineup was solid to complete the sweep of singles matches, as Pratt, Tsu and Hamstra dropped a combined 11 games in their victories.
In the other semifinal, Johns Hopkins used strong doubles play to jump out in front of top seed Chicago 2-1. The Blue Jays were in control of courts two and three the entire way, while the Maroons held the advantage on court one. Shannon Herndon and Abby Clark produced an impressive 8-2 defeat of Chicago’s Linden Li and Kelsey McGillis at the second spot, sprinting out to a double break lead at 3-0. At the third position, Sydney Lehman and Stephanie Rettig claimed an early 4-1 lead over Stephanie Lee and Sruthi Ramaswami, taking the match 8-5. Chicago’s Megan Tang and Helen Sdvizhkov avoided helped the Maroons avoid the sweep by defeating Hailey Hogan and Elaine Baik 8-4.
Although singles play would turn into a battle, it didn’t appear that would be the case as Johns Hopkins took the opening set of all three matches on court. Baik gave the Blue Jays their first point from a singles victory, breezing past Li 6-0, 6-1 at the second spot. Herndon was also very sharp at the third position, securing a 6-1, 6-3 win over McGillis. Those two results put Johns Hopkins in the lead by a 4-1 margin, putting Chicago on the brink of defeat.
The Maroons’ Tang did not let her team go down without a fight. After dropping the opening set and being constantly frustrated by Hogan’s variety, Tang was able to play more consistent tennis at the top spot, working Hogan around the court and anticipating the short slices and drop shots Hogan continually threw at her. Tang fought to win the second 6-4 after losing the opener 6-3, and then ran away with the third set 6-0.
The next match off court also went in favor of Chicago thanks to Ramaswami, who came through with a clutch 6-4, 6-0 victory at the fifth spot against Clark. That pulled the Maroons to within 4-3, but they would be trailing in the final two matches at that point.
The clinching point would be delivered by Lehman for the second night in a row. This time she was forced to battle in the opening set on court four against Sdvizhkov. The lefty was successful in pushing Sdvizhkov behind the baseline often, dictating the rallies. Lehman came away with the first set in a tiebreak, winning it 10 points to eight. Her opponent was clearly frustrated, and even when Sdvizhkov took an early lead in the second, Lehman was able to get back in front before the momentum swung. The Blue Jay was successful in pulling away in the second set, taking it 6-3 to propel her team into the finals.
Consolation play also wrapped up on Saturday night. In the morning matches, host DePauw defeated eight seed Wisconsin-Whitewater 8-1, while defending champion Washington & Lee got past Skidmore 6-3. The DePauw Tigers went on to beat Washington & Lee 8-1 for fifth place late Saturday night. The Skidmore Thoroughbreds defeated Wisconsin-Whitewater to claim seventh.
Play continues Sunday morning at 10 am ET with the finals and third place match. For the updated draw, click here.