The 11th-ranked University of Redlands women's tennis team advanced to the fifth-place match of the 2014 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Indoor Championship with a 6-3 victory over No. 14 UC Santa Cruz on Saturday morning in Greencastle, IN. After leading 2-1 in the doubles, the Maroon and Gray won three of the first four singles matches off the court to secure the overall triumph.
Although the Banana Slugs answered with a solid 8-2 showing at the No. 1 slot, Redlands quickly responded with the same result in its favor, as sophomore Natalie Etchegaray (Placentia, CA) and junior Julia Pollak (Holland, PA) prevailed at No. 2.
In singles, UCSC temporarily responded by tying up the score with a positive showing at No. 3.
But the momentum shift was short-lived, as the Bulldogs fired off three wins to clinch the match. Etchegaray dismissed her No. 2 opponent, 6-1, 6-3, before senior Jessica Ly (Torrance, CA) registered a 6-4, 6-3 victory at the top slot. Up by a team score of 4-2, Redlands gained the deciding point with senior Paige Press' (La Jolla, CA) blanking of her No. 5 foe.
Villanueva also put together a flawless 6-0, 6-0 showing at No. 6 for the Maroon and Gray's final win of the match.
The Bulldogs (3-1) now face 12th-ranked Washington University (MO), which defeated DePauw University (IN) earlier today. The fifth-place match takes place later tonight at 7:30 p.m. EST.