Courtesy Bates Sports Information
LEWISTON, Maine - Second-seeded Middlebury outlasted third-seeded Amherst 5-4 Saturday in a nearly five-hour match in the second semifinal of the 2016 NESCAC Women's Tennis Championship at Bates College.
The Panthers (13-3) will face top-seeded Williams (17-3) in the conference championship match on Sunday at 9 a.m. The match will be played indoors at Portland Racquet and Fitness Center in anticipation of rainy weather.
Amherst (12-7) won two out of three doubles matches to take the early lead. Vickie Ip and Kelsey Chen scored an 8-0 victory over Middlebury's Sadie Shackelford and Kaysee Orozco, then Middlebury's Christina Puccinelli and Alexandra Fields defeated Amherst's Rebecca L. Pol and Avery Wagman to tie it 1-1. The No. 1 doubles matchup between Amherst's Sue Ghosh and Sarah Monteagudo and Middlebury's Ria Gerger and Lily Bondy went Amherst's way in a tiebreaker, 9-8 (6).
Four of the six singles matches were decided in two sets and split between the teams, making it 4-3 in the Panthers' favor. At long last Amherst tied the match at 4-4 when Molly Paradies outlasted Monteagudo 7-6 (6), 3-6, 6-0. About one minute later, however, the Panthers won the match as Puccinelli finished off Chen 6-1, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3).
Middlebury had won 6-3 at Amherst in its previous match and regular-season finale.
2016 NESCAC WOMEN'S TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP
Friday, May 6 – at Bates
First Round Matches
No. 5 Wesleyan 5, No. 4 Bowdoin 1
No. 3 Amherst 5, No. 6 Tufts 4
Saturday, May 7 – at Bates
Second Round Matches
No. 1 Williams 5, No. 5 Wesleyan 0
No. 2 Middlebury 5, No. 3 Amherst 4
Sunday, May 8 – at Portland Racquet & Fitness Center
No. 1 Williams vs. No. 2 Middlebury – 9 a.m.