April 25, 2014

Despite Valiant Effort, Women's Tennis Falls Just Short in SAA Quarterfinals

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Oglethorpe women's tennis team came back from a 2-1 deficit after doubles competition to tie their SAA quarterfinal match with No. 2 seed Birmingham-Southern Friday morning, 4-4. However, the Panthers won the game's final match to take the dual match, 5-4, at the Old Fort Tennis Complex in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

The Stormy Petrels fell behind in doubles competition, taking the No. 1 match featuring JaHaun Freeman-Clark and Katherine Walker, 8-4, but falling in the other two, 8-5 and 9-7, respectively. This put them in a tight situation with their six singles matches, needing four of them to go their way. 

Freeman-Clark won 6-0, 6-4 at No. 1 and Tricia Groover took her No. 6 match down, 6-2, 6-4. However, the Panthers took singles matches at Nos. 4 and 5 to make the overall score 4-3. That left two three-set barnburners to decide the dual match.

Walker won the first set at No. 3, 6-3, but then lost the second set by the same margin. In the third set, though, she wore down her opponent and took the decisive set, 6-4, setting up a 4-4 tie. 

The only match remaining was the No. 2 match featuring Caffrey Francis. She lost the first set, 6-2, but fought back for a 6-4 victory in the second set and was up 5-0 in the third set, serving for the match. However, cramps started to take their toll and her opponent began to come back. She thwarted a Francis match point and went ahead, 6-5, but Francis fought back and sent it to a tiebreak. Francis was finally out of gas in the extra session, however, and lost 7-0, clinching the match for Birmingham-Southern. 

The loss drops the Petrels to 6-14 on the season. They'll end their season with one final match Saturday when they take on No. 6 seed Centre in the consolation round at 10 a.m. Eastern in Murfreesboro.

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