SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University women's tennis team put up a great fight on Thursday afternoon against Christopher Newport University, but ultimately fell in the regular season and Capital Athletic Conference finale, 6-3.
The Sea Gulls swept the three doubles matches, to grab the early 3-0 lead, with the top pair of senior Katie Youlios and junior Natalie Savage jumping out to an early 5-0 lead, before seeing the Christopher Newport pair of Alexandra Drye and McKinney Harwood win the next four games, to get back in the match.
Youlios held serve in the next game, with Savage making two deft shots at the net, including a lob that settled just inside the baseline for the game-winning point and a 6-4 lead. The Captains got one more game, but the Sea Gull pair finished for an 8-5 win and the first point of the day.
Sophomore Claudia Lohn and freshman Charlotte Walker needed a late break to get back on serve and forced a tie-breaker. In the breaker, Lohn and Walker earned a quick 3-0 lead and never looked back, taking the win 9-8 (7-4).
The Sea Gulls (13-6, 5-2 CAC) were in each singles contest, but were unable to get the two wins needed to secure the match.
Walker earned a first-set win, 6-3, after taking a 5-0 lead on Isabelle Wessel at No. 6. But Wessel came back to win the second, 6-2, and finished the match coming from behind in the third set for a 7-5 win.
Savage made Harwood work, needing to get to seven games in each set at No. 1 to pick up the win. Harwood rallied in the first set, forcing a tie-breaker before putting together a late push for a 7-6 (9-7), 7-5 win.
A tie-breaker was also needed in the second set at No. 3, where Soderlund fell 6-2, 7-6 (7-1). And the Gulls were close in the other three singles contests, with Youlios falling 6-4, 6-2 at No. 2, Lutz was defeated 6-4, 6-3 at No. 5 and Lohn fell 6-3, 6-2 at No. 3.
The Sea Gulls will get their chance to avenge the loss on Wednesday, April 22, as they head south to Christopher Newport for the CAC semifinals. These teams will face off there, with Thursday's win giving the Captains (13-5, 6-1 CAC) the No. 2 seed in the tournament, while the Gulls will be the No. 3 seed.