CALIFORNIA, PA – Down 2-1 after doubles the Williams women's tennis won five of six singles matches to claim a 6-3 win over Division II California State (PA) Vulcans this afternoon on the road to kick off the spring portion of their 2011-12 schedule.
With the win the Ephs, ranked first in NCAA Division III play, improve to 5-0 overall this year, having opened the fall portion of the schedule by going 4-0. California State (PA), ranked 11th nationally in Division II, falls to 10-4.
The Ephs played today without veteran singles and doubles standout and co-captain Kristin Alotta who as a political economy major was required to be in Washington, DC as part of the requirements for her major. Alotta will re-join the team when they arrive in Virginia.
Sophomore Kara Shoemaker stepped up to the top spot in the lineup today and bounced back from a first set loss (3-6) to win set two 7-5. Shoemaker then won the match by winning the third set 6-3. Junior Nancy Worley playing at #2 also lost her first set, but prevailed in three sets. Worley lost the first set 6-4, but claimed set two 6-2 and then outlasted Jade Pondicas 11-9 in the third.
"We may have a little rust to kick off, but it's clear that this team knows how to play with heart and determination," said Eph head coach Alison Swain. "With every game played this team elevated its game."
The Ephs will stay in western Pennsylvania for another day and will travel to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh to face the #13 ranked Tartans tomorrow afternoon at 4:00.
- Martina Rubesova/Franziska Steinhardt (CU) def. Taylor French/Kara Shoemaker (W) – 8-5
- Anabel Pieschi/Jade Pondicas (CU) def. Caroline Capute/Kathleen Elkins (W) – 8-5
- Rebecca Curran/Nancy Worley (W) def. Jesse Burrell/Jolien Borrenberghs (CU) – 8-3
- Kara Shoemaker (W) def. Anabel Pieschi (CU) – 3-6, 7-5, 6-3
- Nancy Worley (W) def. Jade Pondicas (CU) – 4-6, 6-2, 11-9
- Rebecca Curran (W) def. Anastassiya Zherdeva (CU) – 6-4, 7-6 (9-7)
- Franziska Steinhardt (CU) def. Kathleen Elkins (W) – 6-4, 6-3
- Caroline Capute (W) def. Jesse Burrell (CU) – 6-4, 6-1
- Maria Pylypiv (W) def. Jolien Borrenberghs (CU) – 6-0, 6-2
NOTES: 8 of the 10 players on the Vulcans' roster are from overseas and the remaining two hail from Pennsylvania... earlier this spring California (PA) defeated the Ephs' opponent tomorrow, Carnegie Mellon (CMU), 8-1… CMU is currently ranked 5th in NCAA Division III and the Tartans just finished second in the National Indoor Championships with a lineup that features three talented freshmen… CMU lost to Washington & Lee in the Indoor Championships... Washington & Lee, now ranked 3rd in Div. III, hosts the Ephs on Wednesday... the Ephs are embarking on a most difficult spring break schedule as a way of preparing for a run at a Division III record fifth straight NCAA title in May… all seven of the Eph opponents over spring break are ranked in the top 26 in either NCAA Division II or III.