BRYN MAWR, Pa. - The Bryn Mawr tennis team took to the courts earlier Wednesday afternoon for a Centennial Conference showdown with Washington College. In what turned out to be a hotly contested matchup, the Owls nearly pulled off a brilliant team win on the day over the heretofore undefeated-in-conference-play Shorewomen. As it was, Bryn Mawr earned four impressive victories on the afternoon and put up strong battles in several other matches in a close 4-5 loss to the visitors.
Three close doubles matches set the tone for what the afternoon would look like, as both sides fought hard for every single point. Washington College jumped ahead early with a win in third doubles. Christina Xue and Libby Hemp paired up well together and put on some very strong rallies in the early going, but their Shorewomen opponents ultimately pulled away to an 8-3 win in that matchup. However, Bryn Mawr drew back to level thanks to another excellent doubles showing from Amalia Parrish and Audrey Camacho. The first-years once again paired up at the top doubles spot. Their opponents gave them a good fight early on, but Parrish and Camacho eventually pulled ahead to a lead in the match. Washington College's Alisha White and Ella Samer were able to get back on serve trailing 6-7, with the visitors serving to tie things up. But Parrish and Camacho would allow no such thing, as the top duo slammed the door with a break of serve to win the match 8-6 and level the team scores. The Shorewomen claimed the final doubles point to take a slim advantage headed to singles, though Caroline Horvatits and Francesca Caramazza put up a strong fight in a tough 4-8 loss at second doubles.
In singles, the visitors momentarily extended their lead thanks to a result in the fourth match. Xue ran into a very solid opponent on this windy afternoon, as Washington College's Sarah Bruno was able to parry off most of Xue's attacks en route to a 6-0, 6-1 win on the afternoon. However, once again Bryn Mawr drew back within one thanks to an overwhelmingly strong performance from Parrish at the top spot. The first-year could not be stopped in her match against Alisha White, as Parrish hit numerous winners and made very few errors en route to a 6-1, 6-1 victory.
The Shorewomen once again built their lead in the match back up thanks to a win at third singles. Caroline Horvatits battled hard all afternoon, but Washington College's Cecilia Cress proved tough to top in the match, playing very clean tennis to take a 6-2, 6-0 win at that spot. Bryn Mawr would not go away however, as the Owls picked up another crucial win at second singles. Camacho stayed hot, as she too cruised to a dominant 6-0, 6-2 win in her match.
Those results got Bryn Mawr back within one with two matches left to go; if the Owls could win both, they would get their first win over the Shorewomen since the 2014 season. However, Washington College managed to squeak away with the win thanks to a 6-1, 6-1 victory at fifth singles. Caramazza gave her opponent a solid fight, forcing WAC's Riley Katzman to find corners and play clean the entire way. Katzman was able to complete the task though, giving the visitors the decisive fifth point in the match. Libby Hemp did provide Bryn Mawr one more bright spot at sixth singles however, as she claimed a well-fought 7-6 (7-1), 6-2 win of her match. Both players put together some incredible shots and several very long rallies took place, but Hemp ultimately dug deep and found that important extra energy for the tiebreaker. With her win there, she gained a tremendous amount of momentum and was able to easily seal the deal in her second set.
Despite coming up just a single match short, today's result is still the best result Bryn Mawr has put together against the Shorewomen in five years. The Owls still bring a ton of positive momentum out of today's hard work, and they'll look to carry that into their next match this weekend. Bryn Mawr will host Franklin & Marshall on Saturday, with that Centennial Conference match set to start at 11:00 AM on the Bryn Mawr tennis courts.