Ephs advance to NCAA semifinals with 5-1 win over CMS
CARY, N.C. -- It's become a familiar staple for the Williams College women's tennis team once the NCAA Tournament comes around:
Sweep the doubles.
For the ninth consecutive NCAA Tournament match, the Ephs did just that Monday, sweeping three doubles points from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps en route to a 5-1 win in the quarterfinals at the Cary Tennis Center.
"It was a thrilling win today, and a day of good tennis," Williams' head coach Alison Swain said. "We're looking forward to another day of great tennis tomorrow."
Williams (22-2) will face Emory (18-5) in the semifinals Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. The two teams met on March 23rd at the Fab 5 Tournament in Lexington, Virginia, with Williams squeezing out a 5-4 win.
All three doubles matches were tightly contested. First off the courts were Kristin Alotta and Kathleen Elkins at second doubles. The match was tied 5-5, but Alotta and Elkins won three of the final four points to give Williams a 1-0 lead.
At three doubles, Caroline Capute and Rebecca Curran were also tied, 4-4, mid-way through their match. The pair outlasted Chloe Dobbert and Jaclyn Smrecek, 9-7, for a 2-0 lead. Taylor French and Kara Shoemaker made the sweep official by winning their own battle at first doubles, 9-7.
"All three doubles matches were tightly contested," Swain said. "I think our mental toughness and our ability to follow through on our game plan made the difference."
Needing only two singles matches to clinch a spot in the semifinals, several Ephs got off to great starts in the first set. Shoemaker posted a 6-1 win at second singles, Nancy Worley won 6-2 at third singles, Kathleen Elkins won 6-0 at four singles and first-year Maria Pylypiv made quick work of her opponent, 6-0.
Despite playing in her first NCAA Tournament match, Pylypiv didn't slow down, taking the second set 6-0 for a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Smrecek. Kristin Lim put CMS on the board when she downed Alotta at first singles, 6-2, 6-0, but both Shoemaker and Worley closed in on victories at two and three, respectively. It was Shoemaker who clinched the victory, battling back from a 5-2 deficit in the second set to win 7-5 and close out her 6-1, 7-5 win and a 5-1 victory for the Ephs.
NOTES: Ephs' head coach Allison Swain had her record go to 23-0 in NCAA Tournament play with the win.
Williams College 5, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 1
1. Kristin Lim (CMCW) def. Kristin Alotta (WILW) 6-2, 6-0
2. Kara Shoemaker (WILW) def. Crystal Lim (CMCW) 6-1, 7-5
3. Nancy Worley (WILW) vs. Sarah Kukino (CMCW) 6-2, 5-5, unfinished
4. Kathleen Elkins (WILW) vs. Jessie Huang (CMCW) 6-0, 3-4, unfinished
5. Caroline Capute (WILW) vs. Chloe Dobbert (CMCW) 2-6, 5-0, unfinished
6. Maria Pylpiv (WILW) def. Jaclyn Smrecek (CMCW) 6-0, 6-0
1. Taylor French/Kara Shoemaker (WILW) def. Kristin Lim/Jessie Huang (CMCW) 9-7
2. Kristin Alotta/Kathleen Elkins (WILW) def. Crystal Lim/Sarah Kukino (CMCW) 8-6
3. Caroline Capute/Rebecca Curran (WILW) def. Chloe Dobbert/Jaclyn Smrecek (CMCW) 9-7
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (6,1,2)