Williams tops Johns Hopkins, earns seventh semifinal appearance in a row
KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- Two winning streaks collided Monday on the Sorenson Courts on the campus of Western Michigan when Williams squared off against Johns Hopkins in the NCAA quarterfinals.
With a 5-1 win, Williams extended its season win streak to seven and stopped the Johns Hopkins streak at 16. The Ephs improved to 21-4 on the year, while JHU ended the season at 20-3.
The Ephs advanced to the NCAA semifinals for the seventh consecutive year and sixth in a row under head coach Alison Swain. Williams upped its NCAA tournament record to 61-13.
Williams took the lead in the match when junior Kathleen Elkins and sophomore Maria Pylypiv won at No. 2 doubles 8-5.
The Eph lead grew to 2-0 when senior Nancy Worley and sophomore Monica Pastor fashioned an 8-3 win at No. 3.
Johns Hopkins collected a 9-8 (8) win at No. 1 doubles when Hailey Hogan and Sydney Lehman pinned just the fourth loss of the year on the Eph tandem of junior Kara Shoemaker and sophomore Rebecca Curran. Shoemaker and Curran are 26-4 this year.
Carrying a 2-1 lead into singles, the Ephs collected the win with three straight-set singles wins.
A straight-set win by Maria Pylypiv against Stephanie Rettig at No. 5 singles 6-0, 6-1 put Williams on top 3-1. Kara Shoemaker at No. 1 singles mirrored the straight-set win formula started by Pylypiv in defeating Elaine Balk 6-1, 6-2. Monica Pastor secured the fifth Eph point by also wining in straight sets. Pastor downed Shannon Libaw 6-1-, 6-1.
"The quarterfinal match is always a great indication of where we are as a team coming in off a week of practice," Eph head coach Alison Swain said. "We came out [Monday] with a lot of energy and confidence and carried it through to the finish. I was really happy with third doubles who, in just their third match, played confident, smart and really worked hard to get the win."