WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. - Sunday's 2017 NCAA Tournament Regional Final in northwestern Massachusetts saw the hosts and fourth-ranked Ephs of Williams College square off against the tenth-ranked Tartans of Carnegie Mellon University for the first time in the two schools' NCAA Tournament history.
After a 3-0 sweep of doubles and a brief, but more than sufficient, showing in singles, the Ephs secured their 12th straight appearance in the NCAA Quarterfinals with a 5-0 win over the Tartans.
"We really look to improve over the course of the season every year," reflected Eph head coach Alison Swain after her team clinched a spot in this year's national quarterfinal, expressing how proud she was of the . "The girls have been really focused on that and have been really driven to overcome the obstacles we have faced. [Those obstacles] helped us maintain our drive, and knew from the get-go we were going to have to outperform where we were at to get back to the final 8 again."
In doubles, Julia Cancio and Emily Zheng quickly established a double-break, 7-2 lead against Jamie Vizelman and Katie Lai on Court 3, before getting the Ephs off the mark two games later to finish off their 8-3 win.
Though their match did not follow the same trajectory, Juli Raventos and Linda Shin's match against Nicholle Torres and Cori Sidell, ultimately finished with the same scoreline, after the Tartan pairing kept things close early at 3-3, before the Ephs won the final five games of the match.
The tightly contested third doubles match on Court 2 saw the Tartan duo of Vinaya Rao and Courtney Ollis fighting for their side's survival, but they came up short against Hannah Atkinson and Chloe Henderson, falling 8-5.
With their 3-0 lead firmly intact, the Ephs didn't slow down in doubles, winning all four first sets of the matches that started.
In the end, it was a race to see which Ephs would finish first, and Shin and Raventos recorded the Ephs' final two points with the exact same scorelines as each other, each triumphing 6-3, 6-2 over Rao and Torres on Court 4 and Court 1 respectively.
"I'm really proud of what the girls have accomplished this year. We're excited about whoever we're playing," commented Swain as she directed her focus toward her team's next obstacle. "We're excited about the opportunity to be there, and we're excited to see what we can do from here on out."
With the win the Ephs' will head off to Chattanooga, TN in a week's time, where they will play the winner of the University of Chicago and Gustavus-Adolphus on Monday, May 22nd, where the Ephs will be attempting to win a spot in what would be their 11th straight National Semifinal.
Williams 5, Carnegie Mellon 0
- Raventos, Juli/Shin, Linda (WILLIAMS) def. Sidell, Cori/Torres, Nicholle (CMU) 8-3
- Atkinson, Hannah/Henderson, Chloe (WILLIAMS) def. Ollis, Courtney/Rao, Vinaya (CMU) 8-5
- Cancio, Julia/Zheng, Emily (WILLIAMS) def. Lai, Katie/Vizelman, Jamie (CMU) 8-3
- Raventos, Juli (WILLIAMS) def. Torres, NIcholle (CMU) 6-3, 6-2
- Bush, Leah (WILLIAMS) vs. Sidell, Cori (CMU) 6-3, 4-1 DNF
- Atkinson, Hannah (WILLIAMS) vs. Vizelman, Jamie (CMU) 7-5, 3-3 DNF
- Shin, Linda (WILLIAMS) def. Rao, Vinaya (CMU) 6-3, 6-2
- Gancayco, Mia (WILLIAMS) vs. Lai, Katie (CMU) DNP
- Cancio, Julia (WILLIAMS) vs. Selenica, Marina (CMU) DNP
Order of Finish:
Doubles – 3, 1, 2
Singles – 4, 1
Williams: 17-4, nationally ranked #4, regionally ranked #2 (Northeast)
Carnegie Mellon: 19-8, nationally ranked #10, regionally ranked #2 (Atlantic South)