May 16, 2010

Courtesy of Williams Athletics

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA. - Second-seeded Williams women's tennis (20-3) advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the fifth consecutive year with a 5-4 defeat of third-round opponent and conference foe, Tufts University (15-7). With the match knotted at 4-4, Ephs first-year Nancy Worley clinched the decisive fifth point in a come from behind three-set victory to send the Ephs to Fredericksburg, Virginia for a chance at their third straight national title.

Williams' number one pair of Grace Baljon and Taylor French, and Tufts top duo of Julia Browne and Meghan McCooey, have played each other twice this season. In the first match at the fall's ITA New England Championship, the Jumbos came out on top to take the title in the doubles final. In the regular season match up, Williams was able to avenge the loss. This afternoon Browne and McCooey had the edge at court one, tallying the Jumbos' only doubles point with an 8-3 victory.

Lindsay Katz and Janice Lam challenged the Ephs' number two combination of Kristin Alotta and Nikki Reich to a tiebreak in their last meeting on April 17. The Ephs handled their competition with ease this time in an 8-3 win. Lucy Marchese and Caroline Capute added the important second point for the Ephs at court three with an 8-4 finish. Nikki Reich took the first point for Williams at court three, winning in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2. The Jumbos quickly evened the match up with wins at courts one and two. Julia Browne defeated Grace Baljon at court one, 7-5, 6-2. McCooey closed out her match 6-2, 6-1 against Kristin Alotta.

Singles play came down to the wire. It was a surprising turn of events following doubles play, particularly since Williams had defeated Tufts earlier in the season in a 7-2 results.