BRYN MAWR, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr tennis team was back in action at home earlier Tuesday afternoon, as the Owls played their final home contest of the 2018 season. The Owls welcomed Ursinus to campus for a matchup of two Centennial Conference stalwarts, and after the Owls celebrated the careers of their four seniors - Abbygail Brewster, Mariam Haider, Jennifer Laske, and Lizzie Siegle - today's match certainly turned into quite the donnybrook. Ursinus took a slim lead after doubles, but Bryn Mawr battled back in singles to force several matches to be played well into the darkness. However, the Bears ultimately were able to prevail by the slimmest of margins in those final two singles matches, ultimately claiming a 6-3 win on the day.
The Bears got two points early on thanks to wins at second and third doubles. Caroline Horvatits and Francesca Caramazza paired up at second doubles and put on a great effort throughout their match, but came up just short in a tough 8-4 loss. The same result applied at third doubles, where Abbygail Brewster and Jennifer Laske gave their Ursinus opponents plenty of trouble throughout their match, but also lost 8-4. However, Bryn Mawr collected a big point at first doubles to answer back and keep the match tight. Lizzie Siegle and Mariam Haider paired up for the final time on their home court, and the duo played a great match from start to finish. Early on, things stayed competitive, as the Owls duo and their Ursinus opponents stayed on serve and within a game of each other. However, by the midway point of the match, Siegle and Haider were wearing down their foes. Each great rally seemed to go Bryn Mawr's way, as the Owls pair continually found corners and ran their opponents around the court to win points. Ultimately, Bryn Mawr pulled away to an 8-5 win in the match to keep the overall score with the Bears close at 2-1.
The visitors came up with a couple more points early on in singles play, as Haider and Horvatits each put up good effort for the Owls, but only could win a single game combined in their matches at second and third singles. But then, the Owls started to turn the tide their way. It started with a big win from Francesca Caramazza at sixth singles. The Owls sophomore was dominant in her match, winning all but a single game en route to a big 6-0, 6-1 win. Then it was Lizzie Siegle's turn to help build the spark for the Owls, as she gutted her way through a back-and-forth match at the top singles spot. Perseverance was the word of the day in that match, as both players put together some strong rallies and well-hit shots, but Siegle's performance was simply masterful. The senior showed her composure after losing some tough points, never letting an individual rally get to her and instead getting right back on the line and going after the next shot. That mental toughness combined with her impressive talent helped Siegle collect a well-deserved win, as she won each set 6-4 to give Bryn Mawr another point. Suddenly the Owls were right back in things, and the match remained undecided at 4-3 with just two matches left.
Those final two matches proved to be highly entertaining affairs that went well into the twilight and nighttime hours. Christina Xue got into a very difficult battle at fourth singles, going blow-for-blow with her opponent and forcing extra games in each set. In fifth singles, it was Jennifer Laske who showed incredible grit and determination in her match, battling through some incredibly long rallies to force a decisive third set. Unfortunately, on paper, neither final result ultimately went the Owls' way. Xue took each set the distance, but ultimately took a tough 5-7, 5-7 loss late in the evening. Laske did well after losing her opening set 6-3, flipping the script in the second set and taking a 6-3 win. Laske and her opponent were midway through their third and decisive set when Xue's match ended, which ultimately finalized the result of the match. With daylight basically gone and the third set of Laske's match tied at 4-4, the matchup at fifth singles was moved to an early tiebreaker. There, Ursinus' player had just a little bit more left in the tank, and Laske fell by a 2-7 margin in the tiebreak to take a tough 6-3, 3-6, 5-4 (7-2) loss in her final singles match as an Owl.
Bryn Mawr will get one more time back out on the court this season when they hit the road for a match at Dickinson this Saturday. Game time in Carlisle is set for 10:30 AM, when the Owls will take the court to close out the season against the Red Devils.