Amherst's Brewer, Devlin rally, wins tiebreaker set to earn doubles crown
KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- For the second time in three years, Jordan Brewer and Gabby Devlin stood atop the podium on the final day of the NCAA women’s tennis individual championships after capturing the Division III doubles title.
Winning together as first-years, the duo repeated the feat with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(8-6) comeback triumph against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps’ Kristin Lim and Caroline Ward. It marks the third consecutive season in which an Amherst tandem captured the title with Devlin taking last year’s crown alongside former Jeff Laura Danzig.
Opening the doubles tournament against Alexandra Scotten and Laura Wade of UC-Santa Cruz, Brewer and Devlin edged out a hard-fought 6-2, 4-6, 6-0 win. Meeting Sewanee’s Jenny and Lindsey Liles in the quarterfinals, the Jeff duo cruised to a 6-1, 6-0 victory, setting up a rematch with Emory’s Gabrielle Clark and Annette Sullivan, who defeated the tandem during the teams’ semifinal match on Tuesday.
Grinding out a 7-6 win in the first set, Brewer and Devlin cruised to a 6-1 decision in the second to advance to the finals against Lim and Ward. Defeating the CMS pairing in the teams’ NCAA consolation match on Wednesday, Brewer and Devlin once again proved victorious despite a slow start. Dropping the first frame 6-4, Amherst’s pairing regained their form in the middle set, notching a 6-3 win.
Trailing 3-2 in the third, Brewer and Devlin once again rallied, winning three of the next four games en route to a 5-4 lead. Lim and Ward battled back, evening the match at five. Despite almost squandering a 40-15 lead in the 11th game, CMS’s tandem retook a 6-5 edge with an overhand volley. Coming right back, Amherst tied it at six to force a tiebreak.
Behind 1-0, Lim and Ward reeled of three consecutive points, going up 3-1 on a Brewer volley that veered wide. Tied at three at the turn, Ward put CMS back in front with a pair of cross court overhand smashes. Staving off a couple of match points, Devlin knotted it at six with a backhand winner down the left baseline. Devlin inched Amherst closer with another point before a backhanded Brewer drop shot clinched the Jeff win.