Ole women knocked out in MIAC quarterfinals by St. Thomas
May 4, 2013
ST. PETER, Minn.- The fifth-seeded St. Olaf women's tennis team was knocked out of the MIAC playoff quarterfinals by fourth-seeded St. Thomas 5-2 on Friday afternoon at Swanson Tennis Center.
The two teams were separated by one spot in the latest ITA regional rankings but St. Thomas (13-5, 7-3 MIAC) won each of the three doubles matches to take a commanding 3-0 lead. Brittany Alexander and Claire Elkin got the Tommies off to a 1-0 lead with an 8-0 win over Bailey Kent and Andrea Jumes. Kara Lefsrud and Bridget Noack won the final six games of their 8-2 victory against Maya MacGibbon and Kristi Kroker. At No. 1 doubles, Lisa Hall and Julia Ellis opened up an early 3-0 lead but Mary Allen and Shelby Henderson came back for an 8-6 win.
In a 3-0 hole, St. Olaf needed a strong start in singles to have a chance to advance. They got just that from their top three singles players. After losing 17-15 in a super tie-breaker the first time they met, Hall topped Henderson 6-1, 6-2 at No. 1 singles to give the Oles their first point. Shortly thereafter, Ellis made it 2-0 with her win over Allen by the same score. The win was Ellis' fifth in a row.
With the score at 3-2, the focus shifted to the No. 3 singles match between Kroker and Lefsrud. Kroker trailed 4-5, 0-40 in the opening set but held serve and went on to win the first set 7-5. However, Lefsrud regained momentum in the second set and took it 6-4. The third set was also highly competitive but Lefsrud pulled it out 6-4 to get the Tommies within a point of advancing to the semifinals.
Bridget Noack provided the final point St. Thomas needed with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Erin Hynes at No. 4 singles. With the match decided, the No. 5 singles match between MacGibbon and Rachel Wright was stopped with Wright leading 6-2, 0-1.
The Tommies advance to face top-seeded St. Catherine in the semifinals on Saturday. No. 2 Carleton and No. 3 Gustavus will contest the other semifinal after Gustavus beat No. 6 Bethel 5-0 on Friday.
The match concluded the career of Ellis, the lone senior on the Ole squad. She finishes her career with a 37-15 singles record, including an outstanding 24-5 mark in MIAC play. In addition to her singles success, 14 of her 23 doubles wins came in conference play.