bc 5, Mt. St. Joseph 4
The Bluffton College women's tennis team journeyed to the west side of Cincinnati, and came home victorious with a 5-4 victory over HCAC foe Mount St. Joseph. The victory was the first in HCAC play for the Beavers since a win over Defiance in 2000, and raised their overall record this season to 2-6.
The Beavers started off the afternoon by registering wins in two of the three doubles matches. Both the first and second doubles teams won their matches by 8-5 scores. It was the second win in three matches for the team of Stephanie Keefe and Lisa Cherry, while Jenna Liechty and Kara Schrock won for the first time while playing together.
Liechty then got things started in the right direction for Bluffton by quickly disposing of her opponent at the #1 singles position. The freshman claimed a 6-1, 6-1 victory for her fourth consecutive win in singles play. After the Lions battled back to win matches at 3rd, 5th, and 6th singles, the overall match score hung on the outcome of the 2nd and 4th singles matches of Keefe and Cherry, respectively. After each dropped the first sets in their matches, both battled back to claim the second set and force deciding third sets. Cherry gained control early in her third set, winning the first three games en route to a 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 victory. Keefe, meanwhile, continued to battle back and forth with opponent Julie Fisher. After failing to break Fisher's serve for the first time in the set, and being unable to hold her own serve, Keefe found herself down 5-4 in the third set. She would battle back, however, to break Fisher's serve, evening things up at five games apiece. Then, in a crucial game, Keefe battled back from a game point to hold serve and go ahead 6-5, en route to the 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory.
"I can't tell you how nervous I started to get at the end of today's match. After winning two of the three doubles matches, I knew we had a pretty good chance. I basically counted on receiving a victory at #1 singles, but I also knew that we'd have to fight hard for two more wins somewhere else," said Coach Nate Smith. "After dropping those first sets, I just wanted to see us fight back and work for every point. Stephanie and Lisa just came through huge at the end there. And not just that, but the rest of our girls also played strong all the way to end of their matches, especially with Kara and Julie pushing their opponents hard the entire way. I'm just extremely pleased with the effort and determination we showed tonight."
Bluffton moves to 1-4 in HCAC play, and will wrap up their regular season conference
schedule with a doubleheader at
Saturday, as they take on the host Ravens and
#1 - Jenna Liechty (BC) def. Cynthia Stocksdale (MSJ); 6-1, 6-1
#2 - Stephanie Keefe (BC) def. Julie Fisher (MSJ); 4-6, 6-4, 7-5
#3 - Christina Nemec (MSJ) def. Kara Schrock (BC); 6-2, 6-4
#4 - Lisa Cherry (BC) def. Stephanie Kiehl (MSJ); 5-7, 6-3, 6-1
#5 - Jackie Gering (MSJ) def. Jenni Blose (MSJ); 6-1, 6-0
#6 - Julie Gering (MSJ) def. Julie Harsha (BC); 6-2, 6-4
#1 - Liechty/Schrock (BC) def. Ja. Gering/Fisher (MSJ); 8-5
#2 - Keefe/Cherry (BC) def. Nemec/Stocksdale (MSJ); 8-5
#3 - Kiehl/Ju. Gering (MSJ) def. Blose/Harsha (BC); 8-1
Final Score: Bluffton 5, Mount St. Joseph 4