Sagehens Dominate In 8-1 Win Over No. 6 Middlebury

Claremont, Calif. - The No. 12 Pomona-Pitzer Women's Tennis team swept doubles and won the last five singles matches in a row to capture an 8-1 win over No. 6 Middlebury on Saturday afternoon at Pauley Tennis Courts.

With the win, the Sagehens are now 8-3 on the year, including a stretch of 4-1 in five matches against teams ranked in the top 13. Pomona-Pitzer defeated No. 8 Carnegie Mellon (March 13), No. 7 Bowdoin (March 16) and No. 13 Redlands (yesterday) all by 5-4 scores, while falling 6-3 to No. 4 Amherst (March 17). Middlebury suffers its first loss and falls to 3-1 on the young season.

The Sagehens won all three doubles lines, which were tight in the early going as teams exchanged breaks. However, the No. 2 team of Marie Fleming and Rosemary Pelch caught fire late and took an 8-4 win for the first point. The No. 1 team of Sammy Chao and Lea Lynn Yen were up 7-6 and had four match points on Middlebury's serve, finally converting on the fourth for an 8-6 win.

Pomona-Pitzer then completed the doubles sweep at No. 3, getting a late break for a 7-6 lead and serving it out. Arthi Padmanabhan (pictured) had a volley for a 40-0 lead, and after Middlebury came back to 40-30, the Sagehens won the final point to seize all the momentum going into singles.

Although Dorrie Paradies got the first singles point of the match for Middlebury at No. 4 to close within 3-1, the momentum was short-lived, as the Sagehens were up a set at four courts and Chao (down a set) was up 3-0 in the second with momentum on her side. Coyiuto finished off a 6-3, 6-2 match at No. 2 with a pretty backhand drop shot just over the net for a 4-1 lead, and Maddie Gordon provided the clinching point at No. 6 on a service winner when Middlebury's return drifted long.

The Sagehens weren't satisfied with only the team win, as Padmanabhan (pictured) won a long service game to finish off a 6-3, 6-3 win at No. 5. Yen went to a first-set tiebreaker at No. 3 and won the final four points after it was tied 3-3 at the changeover, then cruised in the second to a 7-6, 6-1 win.

Chao, meanwhile, got the split at No. 1 with a 6-1 win in the second set and went to an extended tiebreaker in the third (to 10 points) for the final point of the match. It was tight early on, but Chao pulled away with the final four points for a 10-5 win to complete the 8-1 victory.

Pomona-Pitzer will be back in action tomorrow for a key regional matchup against No. 16 Whitman, beginning at 10 a.m.