May 14, 2010

Courtesy of Johns Hopkins

GRANVILLE, OH - The 15th-ranked Johns Hopkins women's tennis team took a 2-1 lead after doubles but then held off a rally in singles from ninth-ranked DePauw to win 5-3 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament Friday afternoon. In a marathon match that lasted more than four hours, the Blue Jays avenged an 8-1 loss to the Tigers in the ITA National Indoor Championship back in February. Hopkins improves to 17-8 on the season, tying the program record for wins, while DePauw ends its season at 20-5.

Hopkins took the first point in the match as sophomore Courtney Boger (Doylestown, PA/Central Bucks East) and freshman Nandita Krishnan (Chennai, India/Sishya School) won 8-4 at second over Janelle Arita and Kelly Gebert. Greer Mackie and Kayla Smith evened the match at 1-1 with an 8-4 win over senior Anita Bhamidipati (Egg Harbor Township, NJ/Egg Harbor Township) and sophomore Carolyn Warren (Boulder, CO/Fairview) at first. Freshman Candace Wu (Yorba Linda, CA/Valencia) and senior Ellen Berlinghof (Dresher, PA/Upper Dublin) gave Hopkins a 2-1 lead after they beat Tricia Wilks and Taylor Prodomos 8-6 at third.

In singles action, Krishnan quickly gave the Blue Jays a 3-1 lead in the match, dropping just one game in a 6-1, 6-0 win at second over Gebert. It was her 37th overall win this season (19 singles, 18 doubles), tying the school single-season record. Wilks cut the deficit for the Tigers to one with a 6-4, 6-3 win at fifth, beating Wu. Freshman Ariel Several (Gladwyne, PA/Friends' Central School) got that one back for Hopkins, beating Courtney Griffin, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) at sixth. The lead did not last long as Smith made it a 4-3 match with a 6-3, 6-2 win at fourth over sophomore Mallory Willenborg (Miami Shores, FL/St. Thomas Aquinas).

Just first and third singles were left, with both matches tied at one set apiece. However, the Tigers were ahead in the third set of both matches. Bhamidipati trailed 5-2 in the third set but staved off a loss, forcing a tiebreaker against Mackie. Meanwhile at first, Warren trailed Arita 4-1 in the third, but rallied to win the set, 6-4, and take the match for Hopkins.

Hopkins is now 6-3 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and advances to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the third consecutive year. The Blue Jays will now face host and fifth-ranked Denison on Saturday at noon. The winner advances to the final eight, hosted by Mary Washington May 25-30.