The Oglethorpe women's tennis team enjoyed an outstanding day on their spring break trip to central Florida Tuesday, earning a tight 5-4 victory over Ursinus in the morning in Kissimmee before heading back down to Orlando for a 6-3 victory over Aquinas in the afternoon. The two wins improved the Stormy Petrels to 4-2 on the season, with one match remaining in the team's spring break schedule.
The Petrels took two of the three doubles matches, which turned out to be a big swing in the dual match. Sophomore Shannon Cruz joined junior Halley Sickling at No. 1 doubles, and the two made a good pair with a hard-fought 8-5 victory over their opponents. Meanwhile, freshman Taylor Cranford and senior Ingrid Wilcox were winning an 8-6 decision at No. 3, a result that wound up clinching the match with the doubles competition going second. Those results allowed the Petrels to offset the 8-1 loss of the No. 2 doubles team, featuring junior Caroline Johnson and sophomore Delaney Abood.
In the singles competitions, Wilcox won 6-2, 6-3 at No. 5 while Cruz outlasted her opponent 6-4, 6-3 at No. 4. They also got a hard-fought 6-2, 7-5 win from Cranford at No. 3.
Ursinus came back and won several matches after that, as they defeated Johnson 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (10-5) at No. 1 and knocked off Abood 2-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10-8) at No. 6. The pair of 3-set defeats, along with a retirement loss by freshman Hannah Dattilo at No. 2, meant that doubles would decide it, but the Petrels were able to pick up the victory there.
In the afternoon tilt against Aquinas, the Petrels again took a lead into the singles portion of the competition. The No. 3 doubles team of Wilcox and Cranford won 8-1 and the top team of Johnson and Dattilo pulled out an 8-3 victory. The No. 2 team of Cruz and Sickling fell 8-4, though, and Aquinas tied the dual match with a victory over sophomore Charlotte Disley, 6-3, 6-4, at No. 5.
The Petrels quickly restored order with three straight wins, though, clinching the dual match in the process. Cruz won 6-1, 6-3 at No. 3, while Cranford triumphed 6-1, 7-5 at No. 2. The No. 4 match is what clinched it, though, with Wilcox overcoming a couple of tiebreak losses earlier in the week by clinching victory for Oglethorpe with a tiebreak win, 6-1, 7-6 (7-1). Abood won an extremely tight match 7-6 (7-2), 7-5 to add on the sixth point. Johnson came back from getting blanked in the first round to force a third-set supertiebreak, but fell in the end, 6-0, 7-6 (7-2), 1-0 (10-5).
"Overall, a great day for our women's team," said Oglethorpe head coach Peter Howell. "The Aquinas victory was a great team win with several milestones...certainly something we can build on as we go forward. The Ursinus match showed our team's perseverance, as they had to come back from losing a couple of tough supertiebreaks at the end of singles to win in doubles. I was proud of how we dealt with that."
The Petrels have one match remaining on this spring break trip. They'll remain in Orlando to take on Haverford at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday morning to close it out. After that, they'll return to Georgia and go against Covenant on Lookout Mountain on March 15, in a makeup of a previously rained out match.