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Panther women’s tennis falls in NCAA semi

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Top-ranked Emory defeated the Middlebury College women’s tennis team, 5-1, in an NCAA Division III semifinal on Tuesday. The semifinal appearance at Kalamazoo’s Stowe Tennis Center marked the second for the Middlebury women and first since 2005. Middlebury, ranked No. 5, ended its season with a 16-5 record, while Emory improved to 27-5.
The Panthers had reached Tuesday’s semifinal by winning a Monday quarterfinal. In that match, the Panthers topped Amherst, 5-2, earning their third victory of the spring over their 14-8 NESCAC rival.
Middlebury took a 2-1 advantage after doubles play in Monday’s quarterfinal. At No. 1, Ria Gerger and Lily Bondy took an 8-1 victory over Sue Ghosh and Sarah Monteagudo. The No. 2 Amherst team of Kelsey Chen and Vickie Ip tied the match at 1-1 with an 8-1 victory over Middlebury’s Kaysee Orozco and Sadie Shackelford before the Panthers made it 2-1 with a 9-7 victory from Alexandra Fields and Christina Puccinelli at No. 3 over Rebecca Pol and Avery Wagman.
In singles, Gerger made it 3-1 with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Ip at No. 1. Amherst pulled to within 3-2 when Wagman posted a 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 6 over Orozco. In the No. 4 slot, Puccinelli put the Panthers up by 4-2 with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 victory over Monteagudo. Molly Paradies clinched the match with a 7-6 (4), 6-4 win at No. 5 against Chen.
In the two matches that went unfinished, Fields and Ghosh each won a set and were tied 4-4 in the third at No. 2, while at No. 3 Amherst’s Jackie Calla and Bondy split two sets before Calla took a 2-0 lead in the third.
In Tuesday’s semifinal, Emory swept the doubles. Paula Castro and Michelle Satterfield earned an 8-4 win at No. 3 over Fields and Puccinelli. At No. 2, Bridget Harding and Katarina Su tallied an 8-3 win against Orozco and Shackelford. At No. 1 spot, Anna Fuhr and Madison Gordon defeated Gerger and Paradies, 8-4.
In singles, Emory made it 4-0 when Gordon defeated Orozco at No. 5, 6-0, 6-0. Middlebury made it 4-1 when Gerger won at No. 1, 6-3, 6-2 over Harding.  
But moments after Gerger won her match, Emory clinched the decisive fifth team point at No. 2 when Satterfield bested Fields, 6-1, 6-1.
Gerger and Fields will compete later in the week in the NCAA D-III singles championship.

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