Women's tennis knocks off regionally-ranked Piedmont in 5-4 thriller

Women's tennis knocks off regionally-ranked Piedmont in 5-4 thriller

The Oglethorpe women's tennis team outlasted the regionally-ranked Piedmont Lions Wednesday afternoon at the Howell Courts, beating them 5-4 in a marathon match featuring four 3-set singles matches and three doubles matches decided by two games or less. The Stormy Petrels came from a set down in three separate singles matches to win and improved to 7-3 on the season.

The Petrels got off to a good start, taking two of the three highly-competitive doubles matches. The three-line tandem of senior Delaney Abood and sophomore Lisette Phillips came back from 6-2 down and battled to force a tiebreak for the match. The Petrels secured a 7-5 victory in the tiebreak and, combined with the 8-6 win from the top-line team of junior Hannah Dattilo and senior Shannon Cruz, took a 2-1 lead into singles.

Oglethorpe lost the first set in all three singles matches that hit the court first. They dropped Cruz's No. 2 match, but Dattilo came back to win 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-3 at the top line while Phillips prevailed 5-7, 6-3, 6-0 at No. 6, giving the Petrels a 4-2 lead.

Disley dropped her No. 3 match to make it 4-3, though, and the final two matches proved very tight. Abood won a first-set tiebreak 7-3 at No. 4, but junior Elizabeth Bielicki dropped her first set 6-4 at No. 5. Bielicki won her second set 6-2 to keep the match going, but Abood fell 6-4 in the second. Abood went ahead 2-0 in the third, but suffered an injury that hampered her play. Meanwhile, Bielicki fell behind 4-1 in her third set. 

Bielicki mounted an impressive comeback, though, battling back into it and eventually winning 7-5 to clinch the dual match for the Petrels. Abood retired from her match after the Petrels clinched victory.

"I was very proud of how hard our team fought today," said Oglethorpe head coach Peter Howell. "After a tough conference weekend, it was great to see the fire and resolve we showed today."

The Petrels will be back in action Saturday when they head to Danville, Kentucky, to take on Centre beginning at 1 p.m. After that, they'll continue to Tennessee to take on No. 26 Sewanee.