SPARKILL, NY – With the fall weather finally setting in, the St. Thomas Aquinas College women’s tennis team also found their stride, winning yet another closely contested match over Roberts Wesleyan, 5-4. The match went down to the wire, with the clinching point coming at the conclusion of the final match of the day at sixth singles.
The Lady Spartans found themselves up 2-1 after the doubles portion of the match – only the second time this season they have been ahead after the break. Lovisa Engstrand ’21 (Stockholm, Sweden) and Sara O’Brien ’18 (Orangeburg, NY) teamed at first doubles to win their fifth match in their last seven tries, with O’Brien making a sweet drop shot for the final point to seal the win. Nyenyeri Kanefu ’18 (Rutherford, NJ) and Cassandra Rohr ’21 (Mallorca, Spain) also took home a win at second doubles with an 8-1 score. Third doubles was closely contended, and STAC looked closed to bringing home the doubles sweep, but Carolyn Kopf ’18 (Garnerville, NY) and Katarina Lopez ’20 (New City, NY) fell just short, losing 8-6.
Roberts Wesleyan tied the match at 2-2 with a win at first singles, but Engstrand made quick work at third singles, winning 6-0, 6-0 to put the Spartans back ahead 3-2. Rohr battled in her second singles match, but fell 7-5, 6-2 to see the match score even again at 3-3. At fifth singles, Lopez won her first set only to be down 4-1 in the second. The sophomore then showcased near perfect play as she won the next five games to win the second set 6-4.
Up 4-3 for the match, the Spartans dropped their fifth singles contest 6-1, 6-0, setting the table for an epic showdown at sixth singles. With the impending darkness setting in on the courts, Kopf won her first set 6-2 and ripped several forehand winners before breaking her opponent’s serve to win 6-2 in the second.
The Lady Spartans are now 2-3 in East Coast Conference play and 4-8 overall. The win marks the seventh match of the year decided by a 5-4 final, with the Spartans winning two of those. They are next in action on Saturday, October 14 as the host Daemen College at 12:00 PM at Washington Township Tennis and Fitness Club.
St. Thomas Aquinas 5, Roberts Wesleyan 4
1 Engstrand/O’Brien (STAC) def. Mogopodi/Gallardo (RWC), 8-2
2 Kanefu/Rohr (STAC) def. Bosch/Darsalia (RWC), 8-1
3 Kennel/Freeman (RWC) def. Lopez/Kopf (STAC), 8-6
1. Nthabi Mogopodi (RWC) def. Nyenyeri Kanefu (STAC), 6-2, 6-2
2. Andrea Gallardo (RWC) def. Cassandra Rohr (STAC), 7-5, 6-2
3. Lovisa Engstrand (STAC) def. Marine Kennel (RWC), 6-0, 6-0
4. Katarina Lopez (STAC) def. Marousia Bosch (RWC), 6-3, 6-4
5. Laura Freeman (RWC) def. Sara O’Brien (STAC), 6-1, 6-0
6. Carolyn Kopf (STAC) def. Salome Darsalia (RWC), 6-2, 6-2
Order of Finish: Doubles (2, 1, 3) Singles (1, 3, 2, 4, 5, 6*)
St. Thomas Aquinas 4-8 (2-3 ECC)
Roberts Wesleyan 6-4 (2-3 ECC)