St. Olaf 8, St. Catherine University 1 (box)

Ole women open MIAC Playoffs by defeating St. Catherine

Michael Abdella
May 4, 2012

ST. PETER, Minn.- For the second straight year, the third-seeded St. Olaf women's tennis team knocked out sixth-seeded St. Catherine in the MIAC Playoff quarterfinals as the Oles recorded a 8-1 win on Friday afternoon at Brown Outdoor Courts.

Last year, the Oles swept the Wildcats 9-0 and this year they dropped just one doubles match in advancing to the semi-finals. Seniors Caitlin Harper and Christine Muller led the way, as they each notched wins in singles and the pair teamed up for a doubles win. St. Olaf also defeated St. Catherine 7-2 on March 3.

The win was highlighted by the singles play of the Oles, as the team swept the six singles matches all in straight sets. Each of the singles matches featured a rematch of match-ups from March and St. Olaf took advantage of the familiarity. After taking a 2-1 lead in doubles, St. Olaf picked up quick singles wins from Julia Ellis, Kristi Kroker, and Erin Hynes to get the necessary five points. The trio each lost just three games in their singles matches. Harper, Muller, and Lizzie Carlson also picked up singles wins for St. Olaf. Muller had the closest singles match of the day as she defeated Maria Koval 6-4, 6-3, while Harper picked up her team-leading 12th singles win. The Oles won all 24 of their singles sets against the Wildcats this spring.

Earlier, St. Olaf got doubles wins from Harper and Muller and Lizzy Eggert and Caitlin Owsley. Harper and Muller topped Michaela Burroughs and Lauren Beadnell 8-3 at first doubles, while Eggert and Owsley earned an 8-6 win over Mackenzie Weber and April Fard. Playing just their third match together this year, Eggert and Owsley's win was especially important as it gave St. Olaf a 2-1 lead heading to singles. At second doubles, the team of Koval and Angie Lorenzen gave St. Catherine their lone point by topping Ellis and Kroker 8-1.

The win earns St. Olaf a date with number two seed Gustavus on Saturday morning at 9 am. The Gusties shut out the Oles 9-0 on April 26 in St. Peter. That match featured three highly competitive doubles match but St. Olaf was unable to win any of the three. The other semi-final pits top-seeded Carleton against fifth-seed St. Thomas, after St. Thomas edged St. Benedict 5-4 on Friday afternoon.

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