The Oglethorpe women's tennis team lost a heartbreaker in the first match of their spring break trip, falling to Coe 5-4 in Altamonte Springs, Florida. The doubles matches were incredibly close. The Petrels got off on the winning track, as junior Shannon Cruz and sophomore Taylor Crawford won at No. 2, 8-1. After dropping the No. 1 doubles match, the Petrels hoped to get a win at No. 3 doubles to carry a lead into the singles matches. Despite serving with a 7-6 lead, the tandem of senior Halley Sickling and freshman Elizabeth Bielicki lost a nail-biter, 9-8 (7-4).
Trailing 2-1, the squad needed to pick up four singles wins to secure the victory. Cruz got things started off well, winning at No. 3 singles, 6-1, 6-2. Crawford followed with a 6-2, 6-0 win at No. 4, and Sickling won at No. 6, 6-1, 6-1, to give the Petrels a 4-2 lead. After dropping No. 2 singles, the match of the day transpired at No. 1. After losing the first set, Johnson battled back from being down 5-3 in the second set to win in a tiebreaker, forcing a decisive third set super-breaker. Down 4-1, she battled back to take an 8-7 lead, but eventually fell 10-8. That knotted the match at 4-4. Unfortunately, the Petrels dropped No. 5 singles in a hard-fought match to fall 5-4.
Head coach Peter Howell commented after the match, "I was really proud of the girls. I thought they played really hard and played some good tennis. We had our chances and came up just a little short. If we play like this the rest of the week, we should be alright."
The squad gets back on the courts Monday morning with an 8 a.m. contest with nationally-ranked Kenyon, followed by an evening matchup with Emerson at 6:30 p.m. The former will take place in Haines City and the latter in Kissimmee, both of which are in the Orlando area.