GREENSBURG, Pa. - Late Saturday afternoon, the Franciscan University women's tennis team inched a step closer to their second straight AMCC title, clinching a dominant 9-0 win over conference opponent Pitt.-Greensburg.
Match play began just after introductions at 5:30 p.m., and Lady Baron tennis was off to a fast start. At No. 1 doubles, junior team captain Maria Binette and sophomore Madelyn Conrad quickly reached an 8-0 victory, to remain perfect in conference doubles play.
No. 2 doubles pairing Taranee Karimpour and Julia Razook are also perfect in conference match play, earning a parallel 8-0 victory behind Karimpour's unwavering groundstrokes, and Razook's growing net confidence.
The dominant play continued at No. 3 doubles for the Lady Barons, where sophomore Grace Hammel and senior captain Emmy Mathias rode smart tennis to an 8-0 victory. Hammel's serves were simply too much for the opposition to handle, and Mathias continued to shorten points with poignant net persistence.
After not dropping a game in their doubles campaign, the Lady Barons took the courts for singles, where the aggressive play continued. Hammel and freshman Kayla DiSalle each recorded shutout 6-0, 6-0 wins, while at No. 1 and No. 2 singles respectively, Conrad and Binette only dropped a game apiece during efficient wins.
At No. 4 singles, Razook wavered only briefly in each set, outlasting her opponent in the majority of points and finishing points on her own terms at the net. Her 6-1, 6-1 victory effectively represents a return to form for the junior, as the season progresses.
All eyes turned to the final match on court, where Mathias was locked in a struggle at her No. 5 singles spot. After taking the first set 6-3, things tightened in the second, and rallies lengthened to reflect more concentrated efforts. Ultimately, it was Mathias who prevailed, running her opponent from sideline to sideline and outlasting her Greensburg counterpart down the stretch.
Now with a perfect 3-0 conference record, the Lady Barons must quickly regroup for a Tuesday match against tough visiting opponent Allegheny College. Doubles play is set to begin at 4:00 p.m.