The Oglethorpe women's tennis team was right in the match against the 17th-ranked team in the Atlantic South region Saturday morning, but didn't quite have enough juice to get over the hump, falling 5-4 to visiting Rhodes at the Howell Tennis Courts.
JaHaun Freeman-Clark and Katherine Walker took a barn-burner of a No. 1 doubles match, 9-7, to start the proceedings, and Ingrid Wilcox and Tricia Groover did likewise at No. 3, winning 8-3. The Petrels dropped the No. 2 match, but were up 2-1 going into singles. However, straight-sets losses at Nos. 4 and 5 singles put the Stormy Petrels down 3-2 in the dual match.
However, Freeman-Clark performed exceptionally well out of the No. 1 slot, defeating her opponent 6-1, 6-4. Groover did the same at No. 6, 6-1, 6-1, setting up a fantastic finish with the Petrels up 4-3. After a loss at No. 2, it came down to the No. 3 slot and Katherine Walker. Walker lost the first set, but came back to take the second, 6-4. She fell behind 5-1 in the third and was down to match point, but somehow battled back to make it 5-4. However, her opponent finally closed her out at that point, 6-4, clinching the 5-4 dual match for Rhodes.
With the loss, the Petrels fall to 5-13 on the year, 0-5 in SAA play. They'll take on Hendrix in their final regular season SAA match at 9 a.m. Sunday on the Howell Tennis Courts.