Owls Battle Hard but Fall to Messiah in Spring Opener

Owls Battle Hard but Fall to Messiah in Spring Opener

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Bryn Mawr tennis team opens their spring season in Florida this week over spring break, and the Owls faced their first test of the trip earlier Monday with a match against Messiah. In a contest filled with numerous close matches, the breaks ultimately went the way of the Falcons, who picked up a 7-2 victory over Bryn Mawr on the day. Freshman Marie Clayton earned a victory in singles for Bryn Mawr, while the duo of Tirsa Delate and Kendall Baller earned Bryn Mawr another point in doubles.

The day got underway with three hotly contested doubles matches. Court one featured Melina Koukoutchos and Lizzie Siegle taking on Messiah's top duo of Ashli Livermore and Kelly Hopkins. Despite their best efforts, Koukoutchos and Siegle found tough sledding against the Falcons pairing, being able to ultimately only take one game in a tough 8-1 loss in the match. Bryn Mawr got some momentum back in the second match however, thanks to a strong performance from Delate and Baller. The senior pairing used their talent and experience to down the younger Messiah duo of Kaitlyn Russell and Carly Dove by a score of 8-2. The third doubles match turned into a barn-burner, as Bryn Mawr's Mariam Haider and Maire Clayton hung right with the Messiah pairing of Sydney Schandel and Meagan Scala for most of the match. The Falcons would ultimately pull away at the end, however, taking an 8-5 victory and the 2-1 lead headed into singles play.

Messiah extended their lead with victories at the first and second singles spots early on. Koukoutchos gave Livermore fits at times in the first set of their match, but was unable to hang on throughout the whole portion and ultimately lost a tough 6-3, 6-0 decision. Siegle netted a similar result in her match, as she took two, then four games in the contest, but Hopkins managed to hang on late for a 6-2, 6-4 win.

Clayton gave Bryn Mawr a spark with a great performance at third singles, picking up a Bryn Mawr win with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Russell. In fourth singles, Baller made a tremendous effort to keep the momentum going with some more cagey play. After a tough 6-4 loss in the first set, the senior captain rebounded in the second to take a marathon 7-5 win. That forced a tiebreaker, but unfortunately for Baller, late bounces didn't go her way. Dove won the tiebreak 10-5 to get the Falcons the last point they needed to clinch the win.

Delate faced a tough road in her singles match and was unlucky not to complete a 2-0 day, as she fell in straight sets to Schandel. Haider closed out the afternoon for Bryn Mawr at the final singles spot with a plucky performance against Scala. The Bryn Mawr sophomore fell behind early after a tough 6-2 loss in the opening set, but rebounded nicely in the second. Haider just missed out on forcing a decisive tiebreak as Scala held off her opponent to close out the match with a 7-5 win in the last set.

Bryn Mawr will continue their spring break trip throughout the rest of the week. After days off tomorrow and Wednesday, the Owls will return to the court on Thursday and take on Roger Williams at 3:00 PM.