ORLANDO, Fla. – The unaccustomed heat would not deter the University of Richmond women's tennis team on Wednesday afternoon.
The Spiders battled it out in the high Central Florida temperatures, ultimately taking down George Washington, 4-1, in the first round of the 2017 Atlantic 10 Championship.
“Senior Kelsey Williams was able to avenge her defeat to her player during the year,” head coach Mark Wesselink said. “That, and the continued strong play from Lea Owens and Kiana Marshall, both getting better with every match, were huge factors.
The Colonials jumped out to a quick start with a 6-1 win at No. 2 doubles, but the lead wouldn't last.
“The return from injury of senior Brittany Boys was a great morale boost for us, as well as a key clinching win in doubles,” Wesselink added.
Singles play was close throughout, with three of the six matches going to a decisive third set.
Owens made quick work of Melis Bayraktaroglu on court 2 with a 6-4, 6-1 win, but George Washington took the match on court 3 to make the score 2-1.
Williams gave the Spiders a 3-1 lead with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over GW's Taylor Nederlander on court 5, before Marshall completed a comeback at No. 4, taking down Sara Grubac, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3, to clinch the match.
“I like that our team is learning to feed off the momentum we get from the Doubles point.
From seniors to freshmen, everyone stepped up today to get us a great team win,” Wesselink said.
The Spiders will have little time to rest, as they return to the court tomorrow, April 27, when they take on No. 1 seed and four-time defending champion VCU. First serve at the USTA National Campus is set for 4 p.m.