GREENSBORO, N.C. – Despite a late comeback after trailing by as much as 3-1 against top-seeded William & Mary, Elon University women’s tennis fell just short as the Tribe prevailed with a 4-3 victory in the semifinals of the 2019 CAA Women’s Tennis Championships on Friday, April 19, inside the Piedmont Indoor Tennis Center.
With the loss, Elon ends its season with a 13-12 overall record. William & Mary now stands at 9-13 overall and reaches the CAA Championship final, where it will battle second-seeded James Madison at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 20, at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center.
William & Mary earned wins on courts one and three in doubles play to pick up the early 1-0 lead in the contest. Following a victory on court three, Vitoria Okuyama and Clara Tanielian clinched the doubles point with a 6-4 win on court one. Elon’s doubles pair of Uma Nayar and Nicole Shiau had a 5-4 lead on court two when the point was clinched.
In singles action, Mila Saric extended William & Mary’s lead to 2-0 with her win on court four, but Maria Paraja answered with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Natalia Perry at the No. 2 position to cut into the Tribe’s lead. William & Mary would then take a 3-1 lead following Rosie Cheng’s 6-2, 6-4 win on the top court.
Just moments later, Olivia Archer provided a response to cut the deficit to 3-2 with her team-best 17th dual match singles win of the season on court four. Archer’s 17 dual match singles wins is tied for the fifth-most for a single season in program history.
The final two remaining singles matches would go to a second-set tiebreaker to decide the CAA semifinal matchup. Alex Koniaev battled Lauren Goodman to earn a hard-fought 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) win at the No 5 position, which leveled the match for the first time at 3-3 with just the singles match on court six remaining.
After falling in her first set, Shiau fought back from a 5-3 deficit, winning three straight games to take a 6-5 lead in the second set. Charlotte Madson then bounced back to force a third set tiebreaker. Facing two match points trailing 6-4 in the tiebreaker, Shiau fended off the first to cut Madson’s lead to 6-5.
However, the Tribe’s No. 6 singles player overcame Shiau’s comeback attempt and won the final match point to clinch William & Mary’s semifinal victory.
William & Mary 4, Elon 3
Apr 19, 2019 at Greensboro, N.C. (Piedmont Indoor Tennis Center)
1. Rosie Cheng (WM) def. Suzanne Zenoni (ELON) 6-2, 6-4
2. Maria Paraja (ELON) def. Natalia Perry (WM) 6-4, 6-3
3. Olivia Archer (ELON) def. Clara Tanielian (WM) 6-3, 6-2
4. Mila Saric (WM) def. Uma Nayar (ELON) 6-2, 6-1
5. Alex Koniaev (ELON) def. Lauren Goodman (WM) 6-4, 7-6 (7-2)
6. Charlotte Madson (WM) def. Nicole Shiau (ELON) 6-2, 7-6 (7-5)
1. Vitoria Okuyama/Clara Tanielian (WM) def. Alex Koniaev/Maria Paraja (ELON) 6-4
2. Mila Saric/Rosie Cheng (WM) vs. Uma Nayar/Nicole Shiau (ELON) 4-5, unfinished
3. Lauren Goodman/Charlotte Madson (WM) def. Suzanne Zenoni/Olivia Archer (ELON) 6-2
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (4,2,1,3,5,6)
William & Mary is the No. 1 seed
Elon is the No. 4 seed
— ELON —