The 11th-ranked University of Redlands women's tennis team battled it out with familiar foe and 10th-ranked Pomona-Pitzer Colleges in the teams' opening match of the 2014 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Indoor Championship in Greencastle, IN. With the match tied at four apiece, the Sagehens earned the deciding point with a straight-set win at No. 5, handing the Bulldogs a tough 4-5 loss.
In doubles, Pomona-Pitzer captured the first win of the match with an 8-3 showing at the No. 3 slot.
However, the Maroon and Gray stormed back with a pair of victories to nab an early 2-1 advantage. Sophomore Natalie Etchegaray (Placentia, CA) and junior Julia Pollak (Holland, PA) put together an 8-5 performance at No. 2, before the top tandem of senior Jessica Ly (Torrance, CA) and junior Ceara Sumida (Hilo, HI) rallied for an exciting 9-8 (1) triumph.
After the Sagehens evened the count at two apiece with the first singles win, Ly reignited the Bulldogs' momentum with her come-from-behind effort at the top of the lineup, posting scores of 2-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-2.
But Pomona-Pitzer quickly answered to take the lead with wins at Nos. 3 and 4. Showing great heart and determination, Sumida pushed her No. 3 opponent to three sets before falling, 3-6, 7-6 (5), 2-6.
Now trailing by one with two matches remaining, the Maroon and Gray gained the tying result at the No. 6 spot, as senior Paige Press (La Jolla, CA) prevailed by scores of 6-2, 6-1.
With the match tied, the teams both eagerly watched No. 5 singles, but, unfortunately for Redlands, the outcome was in favor of the Sagehens, 6-2, 6-2.
The Bulldogs (2-1) now face No. 14 UC Santa Cruz in Saturday's 8:30 a.m. ET match. The Banana Slugs suffered a shutout defeat to No. 1-seeded Johns Hopkins University (MD) earlier today.