CHICAGO, Ill. – Carleton took an early lead during doubles en route to a 5-1 victory against Grinnell in the opening round of the NCAA championship. Juniors Molly Hemes and Katherine Greenberg recorded victories in both singles and doubles.

This is the second consecutive year that the Knights (16-7) topped the Pioneers in the first round of the national tournament. 

Hemes and Greenberg picked up the first point in the team competition with a decisive 8-0 victory at third doubles, followed by an 8-2 victory at first doubles by the regionally-ranked tandem of Bridget Doyle and Anne Lombardi.

Grinnell earned their only point of the day at second doubles, as Laura Krull and Emma Macdonald took a close 9-8 match versus Mikayla Becich and Grace Davis.

Upon moving to singles, the depth of the Carleton roster took over. At the fifth slot, Claire Spencer swept her first set and went on to notch a 6-0, 6-2 victory. Hemes continued her strong outing, prevailing 6-1, 6-1 at fourth singles. That decision set the stage for Greenberg to clinch the victory for the Knights with a 6-1, 6-2 win at sixth singles. Lombardi and Becich were leading their matches as well, but those went unfinished once the team result was determined.

“This was a good first round for us,” Carleton head coach Luciano Battaglini said. “Everybody played good matches, and we’re really excited to have another opportunity to play again tomorrow against UW-Whitewater.

“Obviously we are playing a little different than we did earlier in the season. If people play at their best level, it should be a good competition.”