The Oglethorpe women's tennis team won a series of close matches Thursday afternoon in Demorest, earning an 8-1 victory over Piedmont in the dual match as a result. The win improved the Stormy Petrels to 8-4 on the season overall headed into a couple of SAA matches on the weekend.
The Petrels took two of the three doubles matches, with the Nos. 2 and 3 contests coming down to the wire. The No. 3 combo of sophomore Taylor Cranford and freshman Elizabeth Bielicki won 8-6 while the No. 2 tandem of juniors Shannon Cruz and Charlotte Disley fell by the same scoreline. Senior Caroline Johnson and sophomore Hannah Dattilo won 8-1 at No. 1 to move the match to singles with the Petrels up 2-1.
In the singles portion of the competition, the Petrels got a couple of straight-set victories from Johnson and freshman Lisette Phillips to move to within a single match of clinching the day. Cruz accomplished the feat with a 4-6, 7-6, 6-0 victory at No. 3, giving the Petrels the five matches they needed. They weren't done, though, as Dattilo won 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 at No. 2. Cranford and junior Delaney Abood had their matches go to third-set super tiebreakers, and both won. Cranford took her No. 4 match 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-6) and Abood won 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-5) at No. 5.
"This was the closest 8-1 match that I've been involved with," said Oglethorpe head coach Peter Howell. "All of the close matches and tiebreakers fell our way. I think it helps us to have a tough match like this as we face regionally-ranked Birmingham-Southern and Millsaps this weekend."
The Petrels will take on the Panthers from Birmingham, Alabama, Friday evening at 7 p.m. Eastern, then continue to Jackson, Mississippi, for a battle with Millsaps Sunday at 10 a.m.