Fifth-ranked Williams never trails against No. 3 Emory on route to 6-3 win
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- No. 5 Williams picked up a crucial 6-3 win against No. 3 Emory on Sunday. Emory made the trip up north from Georgia to play at Middlebury on Friday and played Bowdoin in Williamstown on Saturday.
Emory defeated Middlebury 7-2 and Bowdoin 8-1, before losing to the Ephs indoors in Lansing Chapman Rink. With the win, Williams improved to 11-3 on the year.
Williams came out of doubles play holding a 2-1 lead. Kathleen Elkins and Maria Pylypiv gave the Ephs their first point with an 8-4 win at the number two position. Nancy Worley and Veranika Li then lost 9-7 at number three, but Kara Shoemaker and Rebecca Curran gave the Ephs the lead with a tiebreak win.
Kathleen Elkins was steady again in singles play and was first off court with a 6-3, 6-0 win at number three to give Williams a 3-1 lead. Emory then stormed back to tie the match a three with consecutive set wins at numbers one and two.
Williams took control after that. Maria Pylypiv brought the Ephs within one point of victory with a tidy 6-2, 6-1 performance at number five, which allowed Alex Stone to clinch the match with her win at number six. Stone cruised through the first set, but traded breaks in the second, ultimately holding serve to close out her opponent 6-4.
"It's tough for anyone to be the potential deciding point, for a first-year, that's even more to ask," head coach Alison Swain said. "Alex [Stone] is one of our mentally toughest players. She stuck to her game plan and showed a lot of competitive heart to close out her match."
The win gives Williams much needed confidence heading into the heart of its NESCAC schedule and into the post-season.
"I told the team after the match that this is the most improved team in one weeks' time that I've ever coached," Swain said. "Coming out of doubles with the lead was a testament to this group's hard work, focus and trust in the things we have been working on in practice. The win is great for our confidence, but in the NESCAC, there are no easy matches, so we're going to have to enjoy the win but continue to focus on where we can improve in the weeks ahead."