May 9, 2009

Courtesy Tufts University

AMHERST -- NESCAC rivals Tufts University and Bowdoin College squared off in NCAA Women's Tennis Championship Tournament action at host Amherst College this afternoon in the Second Round. Tufts dropped two of three doubles matches, and trailed 4-1 in the middle of singles action before rallying for a 5-4 win. The victory puts Tufts in tomorrow's NCAA Regional final against the host Lord Jeffs at noon.

In doubles play, Bowdoin emerged with a 2-1 lead after dropping the top match to Tufts. The Jumbos pairing of Julia Browne (Old Brookville, NY) and Meghan McCooey (Cumberland, RI) edged Sarah D'Elia and Emily Lombardi 8-4, for Tufts' only point. The Polar Bears rebounded with 8-3 and 8-6 wins at the twos and threes, with the pairing of Rachel Waldman with Charlotte Hitch cruising at two, and Elizabeth Pedowitz joining Hannah Hoerner to gut out a win at number three.

In singles action, the Jumbos and Polar Bears traded wins at numbers five and six to keep Bowdoin ahead 3-2. Polar Bear Stephanie Langer defeated Jumbo Edwina Stewart (London, England) 6-3, 6-2 at number five, while Tufts' Mari Homma (Eastchester, NY) toppled Hoerner 6-3, 6-3 at number six. Shortly after, Bowdoin's D'Elia put the Polar Bears a single win away from the result with a 6-4, 6-4 #1 win over Browne, recently voted NESCAC Player of the Year.

With three matches still playing close, the Jumbos would need a sweep of the three points to keep their season alive. Tufts got one step closer as Jennifer LaCara (Huntington Station, NY) topped Pedowitz 7-5, 6-2 at number four. The final two matches battled into third sets, and eventually tie-breakers on courts adjacent to one another.

On court three, Tufts' Erica Miller (Boca Raton, FL) rallied after losing the first set 5-7 to send her bout with Waldman to a third set with a 6-4 second-set win. In the third set tie-breaker, Miller edged Waldman 8-6 to tie the match 4-4. Just meters away, McCooey completed her come-from-behind win over Lombardi with a 7-0 third set tiebreaker effort. Lombardi took the first set in their match 6-3, before seeing McCooey in 6-2, 7-6 to seal the dramatic victory for Tufts.