Wellesley Tennis Tops Bates 5-4 in Nor’Easter Bowl Opener
WELLESLEY, Mass. – The Wellesley College tennis team opened its home invitational, the 2012 Nor'Easter Bowl, with a 5-4 victory over Bates College. The Blue, seeded third in the tournament, used four singles wins to record the come-from-behind victory over sixth-seeded Bates.
Bates took a 2-1 lead after a tightly played doubles competition. Bates got on the board first as Jacqui Holmes and Lucy Brennan topped Melissa Clark and Joyce Chen, 8-3, in third doubles. Wellesley tied the match, 1-1, with a win at two, where Diana Granger and Erica Choo were 8-6 winners over Ashley Brunk and Nicole Russell. The Bobcats then crept ahead, 2-1, after coming out on top in the first doubles flight. Elena Mandzhukova and Meg Anderson battled into a tiebreaker against Wellesley's Marie Watanabe and Sojung Lee, eventually taking the match 9-8 (10-8).
In singles play, Wellesley quickly evened the match at 2-2, as Clark topped Holmes, 6-0, 6-1 in the third flight. Granger then put Wellesley ahead 3-2 with a 6-2, 6-1, win over Blauth in the fourth spot. Bates battled back to even the match at 3-3, as Mandzhukova topped Watanabe, 6-4, 6-2 at one.
Bates' Brunk and Wellesley's Lee then traded victories to knot the match at 4-4. Brunk picked up a 7-6 (1), 6-4, victory over Kendall Tada at six, while Lee gritted out a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, victory over Brennan at five.
With the match tied at 4-4, the second flight battle between Wellesley's Erica Choo and Bates' Meg Anderson went to a deciding third set. Choo took the first set, 6-3, before Anderson won the second, 7-6 (5). Choo then came out on top in the third set by a score of 6-4, earning the win and handing the team victory to Wellesley.
The win improves Wellesley, ranked #18 in the latest ITA poll, to 12-2 on the season. Bates, the 30th-ranked team, falls to 7-5 overall.
The three-day Nor'Easter Bowl features six of the top 30 teams in the country in Division III tennis. The tournament continues tomorrow with Wellesley battling second-seeded Tufts at 2:00pm in the first semifinal. Top-seeded Amherst takes on Skidmore, the five seed, at 2:00pm in the other semifinal. The winners will meet in the Championship on Sunday. The Back draw includes #4 Brandeis playing #8 Puerto Rico Mayaguez, and #6 Bates playing #7 MIT.
Other Nor'Easter Bowl Matches:
Amherst 9, PR Mayaguez 0
Top-seeded Amherst cruised to a 9-0 win over eighth-seeded, Puerto Rico Mayaguez. The Lord Jeffs allowed just one doubles point against them, while giving up only five points in six total singles matches.
Tufts 8, MIT 1
Second-seeded Tufts took a 2-1 lead after doubles and then swept the singles matches to post an 8-1 victory over seventh-seeded MIT. The Jumbos won each singles matches in straight sets.
Skidmore 5, Brandeis 4
Fifth-seeded Skidmore topped fourth-seeded Brandeis in a tightly contested match. Skidmore held a 2-1 edge after doubles play and won at third, fourth and fifth singles to take the 5-4 match.