The Oglethorpe women's tennis team earned a victory Sunday afternoon in their SAA opener, defeating in-state opponent Berry 6-3 on the road for their first win over the homestanding Vikings since the two schools joined the SAA. The victory improved the Stormy Petrels to 5-3 on the season overall, as well as 1-0 in SAA play.
The Petrels took all three doubles matches on Sunday, getting their afternoon off to a fantastic start. The No. 1 team of Caroline Johnson and freshman Hannah Dattilo won a hard-fought battle over their Viking counterparts, 8-5. The other two doubles matches were also competitive, with sophomore Shannon Cruz and junior Halley Sickling winning 8-6 at No. 2 while freshman Taylor Cranford and senior Ingrid Wilcox took down the No. 3 match 8-2.
Up 3-0 headed to singles, the Petrels knew they only had to take two of the remaining six matches to earn the overall victory. They did one better than that, earning a pair of victories in 3-set matches to finish the Vikings off.
Berry began by defeating Dattilo 6-1, 6-3 at No. 2, making it 3-1 overall. That became 3-2 when Cruz lost 6-4, 6-2 at No. 4. Cranford restored order with a 6-2, 6-2 victory at No. 3, but the Vikings came back to within 4-3 after Johnson fell 7-5, 6-0 at No. 1. Wilcox clinched the match for Oglethorpe at the No. 5 spot, though. She came back from a set down to win 2-6, 6-2, 6-3. The Petrels earned one more point, as well, with sophomore Delaney Abood winning 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 in a comeback victory of her own.
"All those close matches during spring break definitely helped us today," said Oglethorpe head coach Peter Howell. "They gave us the experience to win tight matches like Delaney and Ingrid were involved in at Nos. 5 and 6. I'm proud of the way we hung in and took this match. Taking all three doubles matches was huge for us down the stretch."
The Petrels will now return to the Downing Howell Courts with a rescheduled midweek match against Agnes Scott at 4 p.m. on Thursday. They'll then welcome Oxford Saturday at 11 a.m. and Brooklyn March 31 at 1 p.m.