Simmons Tennis battled Mount Holyoke College for four and a half hours Thursday night, coming up short on the evening to endure a 5-4 non-conference loss. Simmons falls to 6-4 overall, while remaining a perfect 4-0 in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference, while the Lyons improve to 2-3 overall, 1-2 NEWMAC.
The Sharks' #1 doubles team of junior Maile Macleod (Carlsbad, Calif.) and freshman Sabrina Salmela (Beverly, Mass.) saved two match points to defeat Mount Holyoke's Nahree Han and My-Linh Nguyen, 9-8. Simmons' #2 and #3 doubles teams fell to the Lyons, giving the visitors a 2-1 lead going into the singles matches.
Mount Holyoke's Sarah London won #3 singles over sophomore Maggie Taylor (Yarmouth, Maine) to take a 3-1 lead. Sophomore Athena Lynch (Andover, Mass.) answered back with a decisive 6-3, 6-0 victory at #6 singles to boost the Sharks to 3-2, while junior Katy Hallinan (Maynard, Mass.) followed up with a 6-2, 6-2, win at #4 to even the contest, 3-3.
Salmela, playing #1 singles, won a strong match over Han with a 6-3, 6-4 performance to give Simmons a 4-3 lead.
The evening hinged on the results of the last two singles matches. Senior Jordan Borash (Marblehead, Mass.) dropped a three-set match at #5 to Heather Richardson, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, to tie things up 4-4.
Macleod and the Lyons' Sarah Moore went down to the wire at #2 singles, with Moore getting the close decision 7-5, 4-6, 7-5. At one point, Macleod was two points from victory when Moore came through with some amazing tennis to swing the evening in Mount Holyoke's favor.
Head Coach Bob Rauseo, while disappointed with the loss, was happy with the way the Sharks performed, noting Mount Holyoke's defeat of MIT last week, which was the first loss in 19 years for the Engineers.
Simmons will return to the court this weekend, with back-to-back Saturday and Sunday GNAC matches. On Saturday, October 3, Simmons will face Emerson at 11:00am, and on Sunday, October 4, they will host Albertus Magnus at home at 1:00pm.