Courtesy Bates Sports Information
PORTLAND, Maine - Top-seeded Williams defeated No. 2 seed Middlebury 5-0 to win its second consecutive New England Small College Athletic Conference Women's Tennis Championship Sunday morning in the Portland Racquet & Fitness Center.
The Ephs (18-3) captured their eighth conference title in the tournament's 16 years and inched up on Amherst's all-time total of nine. Those two schools remain the only two to have won the championship, which they shared in 2004.
Middlebury (13-4) had three singles players leading their opponent with first-set wins, only to have their matches halted when the Ephs clinched the team victory.
Williams secured the victory with victories at sixth and fifth singles, respectively. Hannah Atkinson's 6-0, 6-2 victory over Molly Paradies at No. 5 gave the Ephs a 4-0 lead, and Leah Bush's 6-4, 6-2 win over Sadie Shackelford at No. 6 ended the match.
In doubles play, Maya Hart and Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio earned the first point of the morning with an 8-3 victory over Christina Puccinelli and Alexandra Fields at third doubles. Julia Cancio and Atkinson followed with an 8-4 victory over Shackelford and Kaysee Orozco at No. 2, followed closely by Juli Raventos and Linda Shin's 8-3 win over Ria Gerger and Lily Bondy at first doubles.
After receiving a first-round bye along with Middlebury, Williams did not surrender a point over the tournament's final two rounds, including Saturday's 5-0 semifinal win over No. 5 Wesleyan.
Middlebury and Williams previously met on April 9 at Williams, a 7-2 Ephs win.
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
Second Round Matches
No. 2 Middlebury 5, No. 3 Amherst 4
Sunday, May 8 – at Portland Racquet & Fitness Center
No. 1 Williams 5, No. 2 Middlebury 0