Story by Mitch Blankespoor
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Kalamazoo College women's tennis team defeated Saint Mary's College (Ind.) 5-1 in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) Tournament semifinals Thursday, May 1 inside the Markin Center. The Hornets will play Hope College tomorrow (Friday), May 2 in the MIAA Tournament Final. The match is slated to start at noon with the winner earning a trip to the NCAA III Women's Tennis Championships.
In doubles, Kalamazoo took the first flight as sophomore Ania Latala and freshman Sabrina Dass won third doubles 8-5 defeating Margaret Faller and Andrea Fetters. Senior Jenna Riehl and sophomore Sarah Woods were up 6-3 at first doubles only to watch Mary Catherine Faller and Kayle Sexton from Saint Mary's win five straight games to clinch the flight 8-6.
"Saint Mary's played really well today in doubles," Kalamazoo Head Coach Mark Murphy said. "We were a little tentative at first, but we were able to close out and take a 2-1 lead going into singles play.
Kalamazoo did not waste any time in singles, however, winning the first three flights off of the court to clinch the match. Dass finished first at fourth singles defeating Elliott 6-3, 6-1. Riehl then followed up dismantling Sexton 6-1, 6-1 at second singles. Woods clinched the match winning first singles 6-2, 6-3.
"We played great matches a second and fourth singles," said Murphy. "Sarah had a routine win at first singles."
Moran, who had won the first set 6-4 at third singles before the match concluded, lost to Jackie Kjolhede 7-5, 6-2 in the regular season finale.
"Kelsey [Moran] pulled out the first set at three [singles]," Murphy said. "She probably would have pulled that one out."
Kalamazoo improves to 15-4 on the season with the win. As stated above, the Hornets will play Hope in the MIAA Tournament final tomorrow. Kalamazoo lost to Hope 5-1 in the final in 2013, but won the only meeting of 2014 - a 5-4 victory at Hope.