Colonels Bested by No. 17 Sewanee 5-2 in SAA Title Match

Colonels Bested by No. 17 Sewanee 5-2 in SAA Title Match

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. ( – Playing in its first ever conference tournament championship match, the Centre women's tennis team battled, but the 17th-ranked Sewanee Tigers proved to be too much as the top-seeded squad claimed its fifth consecutive Southern Athletic Association (SAA) crown.

The Colonels close the season with a 14-7 ledger and put together a program-record 11-match winning streak entering Sunday's title bout.

The No. 1 doubles duo of sophomore Neha Rao (London, Ky.) and junior Aliza Williams (Cincinnati, Ohio) capped an outstanding season with a win on a big stage Sunday, topping the tandem of Darby Duval and Clementina Davis by a score of 8-3. Duval and Davis came into the match ranked seventh in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Atlantic South regional doubles rankings. The Tigers picked up triumphs at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles to gain a 2-1 edge over Centre.

In singles play, sophomore Abigail Kent (College Station, Texas) defeated regionally-ranked Christina Merchant 6-1, 6-3 at the No. 3 position.

Rao and Williams each earned wins in the first set of their respective singles matches at the No. 1 and No. 2 slots, but the Tigers would come out victorious at No. 4-6 singles en route to the match win.

Prior to Sunday, Sewanee had not dropped more than one decision in SAA postseason action.  


Singles competition

1. #10 Clementina Davila (SEWANEE) vs. #13 Neha Rao (CENTRE-W) 4-6, 6-4, unfinished

2. #12 Ellie Czura (SEWANEE) vs. Aliza Williams (CENTRE-W) 3-6, 6-4, unfinished

3. Abigail Kent (CENTRE-W) def. #20 Christina Merchant (SEWANEE) 6-1, 6-3

4. Haley Tucker (SEWANEE) def. Emily Zelichenok (CENTRE-W) 6-4, 6-3

5. Darby Duval (SEWANEE) def. Courtney DeLong (CENTRE-W) 6-1, 6-1

6. Meredeith Heitland (SEWANEE) def. Zena Maddux (CENTRE-W) 6-3, 6-0


Doubles competition

1. Neha Rao/Aliza Williams (CENTRE-W) def. #7 Darby Duval/Clementina Davila (SEWANEE) 8-3

2. Ellie Czura/Christina Merchant (SEWANEE) def. Emily Zelichenok/Abigail Kent (CENTRE-W) 8-3

3. Sara Thompson/Bea Benavides (SEWANEE) def. Courtney DeLong/Kenny Snow (CENTRE-W) 8-3