Women’s Tennis: Tribe falls to James Madison in CAA championship

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Jamie Holt / The Flat Hat

William and Mary traveled to Elon, N.C. and made quick work of North CarolinaWilmington in the Colonial Athletic Association quarterfinals with a 4-0 victory Thursday, April 18. 

The Tribe started off by clinching the doubles point for the twelfth time this season. At the No. 2 spot freshman Mila Saric and junior Rosie Cheng shut out Sarah Horn and Celeste Matute 6-0. Junior Charlotte Madson and senior Lauren Goodman secured the point by winning 6-3 against Lea Dubois-Rebiere and Rachel Marthinsen at the No. 3 spot. 

Madson built on the momentum winning the No. 5 singles spot, defeating Rishika Ravindranin in two sets, 6-1, 6-3. At the No. 3 spot, Saric dominated the first set, winning 6-1 and secured the Tribe’s third point by winning her second set 6-4. To clinch the Tribe’s spot in the CAA semifinals, Cheng, last year’s Most Outstanding Performer of the CAA Championship, dropped just four games, defeating Maddy Muller-Hughes 6-2, 6-2 at the No. 1 spot. 

The Tribe continued their momentum the next day, Friday, April 19, as it headed to Greensboro, N.C. and defeated Elon in the CAA semifinals, 4-3.  

The Tribe picked up where it left off the previous day, winning the doubles point for the thirteenth time this season. Goodman and Madson won again, this time defeating Suzanne Zenoni and Olivia Archer 6-2. At the No. 1 spot, sophomore Vitoria Okuyama and senior Clara Tanielian clinched the point for Tribe defeating Alex Koniaev and Maria Paraja 6-4. 

Saric pushed the Tribe’s lead to 2-0, dropping just three games, defeating Uma Nayar 6-2, 6-1 at the No. 4 spot. At the No. 2 spot, junior Natalia Perry was beat in two sets 6-4, 6-3 by Paraja. The Tribe pushed the lead to 3-1, as Cheng took care of Zenoni at the No. 1 spot. 

The Phoenix mounted a comeback, tying the score at 3-3 by winning back to back sets at the No. 3 and No. 5 spots. Tanielian fell in two sets to Archer 6-3, 6-2 at the No. 3 spot. Koniaev beat Goodman 6-4 in the first set. Goodman fought hard to push the game to a third set, but came up just short losing the No. 5 matchup, 7-6. 

Madson clinched the Tribe’s championship berth by defeating Nicole Shiau at the No. 6 spot. She started off strong winning the first set 6-2. The second set was much closer, but she pulled out the 7-6 win to clinch the win for the Tribe. 

Saturday, April 20, the Tribe headed back to Elon, North Carolina trying to clinch their fifthstraight league title. However, the Tribe was not able to come away with the championship against James Madison, losing 4-2. 

The Tribe started off strong, winning the doubles point for the sixth time in the past seven matches. Goodman and Madson won yet again at the No. 3 spot, defeating Amanda Nord and Michelle Los Arcos Balasch 6-2. Okuyama and Tanielian clinched the point winning the No. 1 spot in a convincing 6-1 fashion. Saric pushed the Tribe’s lead to 2-0, by defeating Emma Petersen, dropping just four games 6-1, 6-3. 

The Dukes made a comeback, however, controlling the rest of the singles matches. Abby Amos and Daniela Voloh beat Perry and Tanielian respectively in two sets. Nord defeated Madson in the first set, winning 6-4. Madson came back dominate in the second set shutting Nord out 6-0, to push it to a third set. Nord clinched the point by winning the third set 7-5, making the score 3-2 Dukes.  

Finally, to clinch the championship for the Dukes, Roka downed Goodman in three sets, 4-6, 6-4, 6-0. This match ended the Tribe’s four-year streak of CAA championships and was the Dukes’ first championship.