LEXINGTON, Va. -- The Methodist women's tennis team began its hunt for the Division III national championship, defeating John Carroll in thrilling fashion, 5-4, in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Friday morning hosted by Washington and Lee.
After dropping its first match at No. 1 doubles, the Monarchs took a 2-1 lead after capturing wins at both No. 2 and No. 3 lines. Han Le and Jenna Landis teamed up for an 8-6 decision over Katherine Devine and Jennifer Stoyne at No. 2 to knot things up, 1-1, before the duo of Davi Barbour and Riley Zopp pushed the Monarchs ahead with an 8-4 win at No. 3  over Nicolette Bourlas and Natalie Bourlas.
The score was leveled once again, 2-2, when Lauren O'Malley topped Isabella Graf at No. 1 singles, 6-1, 6-3, but Landis put the Green and Gold back on top with her 6-1, 6-2 rout of Nicolette Bourlas at No. 3. Ashton Walker gave MU a two-point lead, 4-2, with her 6-4, 6-3 victory over Devine at No. 4 before John Carroll (16-4) earned back-to-back wins at the No. 2 and No. 6 lines, tying the match for the last time, 4-4, and forcing the No. 5 singles battle between Barbour and Stroyne to determine to overall outcome.
Barbour came out strong, proving to be the stronger opponent in a 7-6 (8-6) battle in the first set before dropping the second, 6-3, to Stroyne to force a tie-breaking set. The two rallied back and forth, but Barbour pulled away, edging Stroyne 7-5 to give Methodist the 5-4 victory.
Singles competition
1. Lauren O'Malley (JCU-W) def. Isabella Graf (MUWT) 6-1, 6-3
2. Madisyn Rini (JCU-W) def. Sam Munze (MUWT) 4-6, 6-4, 6-0
3. Jenna Landis (MUWT) def. Nicolette Bourlas (JCU-W) 6-1, 6-2
4. Ashton Walker (MUWT) def. Katherine Devine (JCU-W) 6-4, 6-3
5. Davi Barbour (MUWT) def. Jennifer Stroyne (JCU-W) 7-6 (8-6), 3-6, 7-5
6. Molly Traverso (JCU-W) def. Riley Zopp (MUWT) 6-1, 6-2

Doubles competition
1. Madisyn Rini/Lauren O'Malley (JCU-W) def. Sam Munze/Isabella Graf (MUWT) 8-4
2. Han DK Lee/Jenna Landis (MUWT) def. Katherine Devine/Jennifer Stroyne (JCU-W) 8-6
3. Davi Barbour/Riley Zopp (MUWT) def. Nicolette Bourlas/Natalie Bourlas (JCU-W) 8-4