CARY, N.C. — Caroline Richman broke a 4-4 tie and earned the clinching point during the Amherst’s 5-4 win against Carnegie Mellon in the NCAA quarterfinals on Monday.
The Lord Jeffs (18-3) bumped their winning streak to 10 matches and punched their ticket to the national semifinals for a fourth consecutive year.
Amherst has competed in four of the past eight NCAA finals.
The Lord Jeffs continued their dominance in doubles play by taking two of three points from Carnegie Mellon on Monday. After Laura Danzig and Gabby Devlin cruised to an 8-3 win against Laura Chen and Courtney Chin in the top flight, Bryn Raschke and Chelsea Motie tied things up for the Tartans with an 8-5 win against Amherst’s Jennifer Newman and Zoe Pangalos.
The third doubles point wound up playing a significant role in the match, but it was Richman and first-year Safi Aly who came out on top for Amherst in the thrilling finish.
After a 3-3 at the tiebreaker’s first changeover and 6-6 at the second, Richman and Aly held on for the 8-6 final against Katie Cecil and Cze-Ja Tam. Richman improved to 18-0 in doubles play on the year, while the Lord Jeffs are now 27-3 since Apr. 14.
Carnegie Mellon came back to tie the match at 3-3 after the fourth, fifth and sixth singles ended in a hurry. Tam got things started with a 6-2, 6-0 win against Aly at No. 6, followed by Devlin taking care of Angela Pratt in the fifth spot (6-3, 6-1). Chin found the tying point in the fourth matchup, as she defeated Pangalos by a score of 6-4, 6-3.
Danzig handed the lead back to Amherst with a hard-fought win against Cecil in the top flight. Cecil nearly pulled off a comeback in the opening set, but Danzig held on to win the tiebreaker (7-4) before convincingly taking the second frame, 6-2. Newman didn’t lose a single game in her first set against Chen at No. 2, but the Tartans again found the tying point when Chen battled back to win the final two sets by scores of 6-4 and 7-6(2).
Shortly after Chen completed her comeback, Richman handed momentum back to Amherst by taking a 5-3 lead in her third set. Motie had taken the first set by a score of 6-2, but Richman won the second (6-2) and held on in the third (6-3), clinching the victory for Amherst on a double fault by Motie.