ATLANTA – The Mount Mary tennis squad made quite the impression at its first ever postseason tournament.
Unfortunately, the Blue Angels came up just short at the Great South Athletic Conference Tournament, falling to Mills College 5-2 in the opening quarterfinal round.
“League officials and court officials said it was clearly the match of the day,” head coach Tom Troast said. “Playing a seasoned California team in 85-degree temperatures and in a match that lasted three and a half hours certainly did not assist us—but it was a very inspiring match.”
As usual, the match started with doubles play. The No. 2 tandem of senior Katie Wolk (Oshkosh, Wis.) and freshman Ana Mercado (Grafton, Wis.), as well as the No. 3 team of senior Briana Lock (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Brooke Slamka (Racine, Wis.) played dead even with their respective Cyclone opponents, both forcing a tiebreak set at 8-8 apiece. Yet it was the Cyclones who came through in the clutch, eking out all three doubles victories to take a commanding 3-0 lead entering singles play.
Its back against the wall, Mount Mary (6-6) came out swinging—literally. Freshman Andrea Monacelli (Sussex, Wis.) cruised in her singles matchup 6-0, 6-4. Wolk made it two-for-two for MMU in singles play with a convincing 6-1, 6-2 decision to pull the match to within one.
Though, its 3-0 lead proved entirely necessary for Mills (3-10), who got straight-set victories at No. 2 and No. 3 singles to seal up the match—also halting all other matches in action.
If it were any consolation, the other two Blue Angels singles players owned big leads over their foes, as sophomore Krista Olson (Appleton, Wis.) was up 6-4, 3-0 at No. 6 and junior Nina Her (Brown Deer, Wis.) won the first set 7-5 at No. 1 singles before the match was called.
Despite a tough loss, Troast was very pleased at his team’s opening round performance.
“Mount Mary showed that it can play with teams at least at this level,” Troast said. “Our team really demonstrated a great deal of improvement even during the spring training season. I’m extremely proud of all their efforts and certainly the outcome—literally just a few points would have completely shifted this match in our favor.”
While the Blue Angels are officially eliminated from earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, they will enter into the GSAC Consolation bracket in hopes of still ending the season on a high note.
Mount Mary will battle Rust College (0-5) Saturday at approximately 11:00 a.m. at Byers Tennis Complex. The Bearcats were swept by top-seeded California-Santa Cruz in Friday’s nightcap.
GSAC TOURNAMENT RESULTS/SCHEDULE
All matches played at Byers Tennis Complex on the campus of Georgia Tech University in Atlanta, Ga.
|Quarterfinals - Friday|
|Match 1||(#2) Salem College def. (#7) Trinity College||5-0|
|Match 2||(#3) Agnes Scott College def. (#6) Wesleyan College||5-1|
|Match 3||(#4) Mills College def. (#5) Mount Mary University||5-2|
|Match 4||(#1) UC-Santa Cruz def. (#8) Rust College||5-0|
|Consolation Semifinals - Saturday|
|Match C1||(#6) Wesleyan vs. (#7) Trinity||9:00 a.m.|
|Match C2||(#5) Mount Mary vs. (#8) Rust||11:00 a.m.|
|Championship Semifinals - Saturday|
|Match 5||(#1) UC-Santa Cruz vs. (#4) Mills||1:00 p.m.|
|Match 6||(#2) Salem vs. (#3) Agnes Scott||3:00 p.m.|