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Ephs to play for national title

WILLIAMSTOWN – That was then, but this is now.

Two months ago in a match played on the campus of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS), the Ephs fell 5-4, but this time was a much different story as Williams (22-4) downed previously undefeated CMS (31-1) 5-1 to advance to the NCAA Division III tennis title tilt.

With the win, the Ephs snapped the Athenas’ 31-match season win streak and extended their own season win streak to eight and Head Coach Alison Swain’s NCAA Tournament win streak to 29.

In the March match, it was CMS taking a 2-1 lead out of doubles play into the singles matches and claiming the victory.

This time, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps captured the first point of the match when their top tandem of Kristin Lim and Caroline Ward downed the Eph duo of junior Kara Shoemaker and sophomore Rebecca Curran, 8-4.

With the match 3-2 in favor of the CMS pairing, Lim and Ward won the next three games to take control of the match.

The Ephs tied the match at one-all when their number two doubles team of junior Kathleen Elkins and sophomore Maria Pylypiv won 8-2 over Sarah Kukino and Crystal Lim.

The Eph duo opened up a 3-0 lead only to see the Athenas cut that lead to 3-2, before Elkins and Pylypiv rattled off the last five games in a row, evening the score of the match at one-all.

The deciding doubles point came down to a barnburner of a match at three doubles, where senior captain Nancy Worley and sophomore Monica Pastor, playing for just the fourth time this season as a team, pulled out a 9-7 win. Worley and Pastor are now 3-1 on the season.

Worley/Pastor trailed 2-1, but battled back to tie the match at four-all. A tight match got even tighter as the score was tied again at five, six and seven before the Ephs won the final two games to garner their second team point of the match.

“Nancy and Monica just kept working hard and believing and trusting in their games,” said Swain. “They hit several real nice returns when the match was 8-7 to win.

In the recent match, it was the Ephs taking the 2-1 lead into singles play.

Pylypiv captured her 26th singles match of the year when she posted a 6-0, 6-0 win at five singles, making the score 3-1 in favor of the Ephs.

Shortly after the Pylypiv win, Pastor authored her own straight set win, 6-1, 6-1 at six singles over Yvonne Likomanova to boost the Eph lead to 4-1.

Worley closed out the match for Williams when she downed Sarah Kukino in straight sets 6-2, 6-0, lifting the Ephs into a record sixth consecutive NCAA title match.

“It’s great to see and feel a real tangible result of this team’s improvement over the season,” noted Swain. “This team has come so far this season and improved so much.”

Posting three straight set singles wins found the Ephs finishing their match before the Emory vs. Amherst match was decided even though the Emory-Amherst match started two hours earlier. Emory and Amherst went toe-to-toe for five-plus hours before Emory prevailed, 5-4.

Williams will meet Emory for the NCAA title.

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Posted by on May 23, 2013. Filed under College Sports,Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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