WINTER PARK, Fla. - The Saint Michael's College women's tennis team lost to the regionally-ranked University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, 7-2, during the completion of a suspended match on Wednesday before dropping a 5-4 decision to Oglethorpe (Ga.) University during a regularly-scheduled meeting later in the afternoon. The Purple Knights are now 3-4, as both events occurred at the Winter Park Tennis Center at Azalea Lane.
Against Wisconsin-La Crosse, which is 12-4 and sits 19th in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's (ITA) Division III Central Region poll, the Purple Knights trailed 3-1 on Monday when rain forced a suspension of the match at Star Island Resort and Club in Kissimmee, Fla., with five singles matches in progress. Those five were completed on Wednesday.
Junior Kayla Dowd (Longmeadow, Mass./Longmeadow) and first-year Nicole Kellogg (Burnt Hills, N.Y./Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) earned an 8-4 victory at No. 3 doubles, while the Purple Knights' second-position tandem of junior captains Caroline Martin (Scituate, Mass./Scituate) and Caroline Toutoungi (Weston, Conn./Weston) narrowly suffered a 9-7 setback. In the top spot, sophomores Erica Bundrick (Mattituck, N.Y./Mattituck) and Alexandra Sulkin (Ipswich, Mass./Ipswich) fell to the 14th-ranked doubles duo in the Division III Central Region, 8-1.
Only one singles match was played to completion on Monday, an Eagle victory at No. 5, before rain forced the suspension of the remaining five matches. Upon resumption on Wednesday, Bundrick closed out her opponent at No. 1 for a 6-3, 6-4 triumph, the lone point Saint Michael's earned during singles play. Martin led 6-3, 2-1 at the point of suspension before eventually losing her match 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the fourth spot, and Kellogg dropped a 6-4, 6-4 decision at No. 2.
Saint Michael's trailed 2-1 after doubles against Oglethorpe, which is now 3-8. Martin and Toutoungi were victorious by an 8-6 count at No. 2 doubles, while Bundrick and Sulkin narrowly lost by the same score in the top position.
The Purple Knights and Stormy Petrels split the six singles decisions, as Martin nabbed a 6-1, 6-4 win at No. 5, Toutoungi claimed a 6-2, 6-1 victory in the sixth spot, and junior Hannah Benoit (Mystic, Conn./Saint Bernard School) took her opponent down by a 6-3, 6-0 count at No. 4. Each of the remaining three matches were close, including Bundrick falling by a 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) score in the top spot. Sulkin suffered a 6-2, 6-4 setback at No. 3, and Kellogg's 6-4, 6-2 loss in the second position came despite more than two hours of action against her opponent.
The Purple Knights complete their Spring Break trip tomorrow with a pair of matches in Kissimmee, Fla., first opposing regionally-ranked Hope (Mich.) College at 8 a.m. before taking on Bethel (Minn.) University at 1:30 p.m.