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By Amie Canfield
ITHACA – Powered by a third-set tiebreaker win at one by Katherine Almquist, Skidmore College posted a 5-3 decision over Vassar College in the Liberty League Women’s Tennis Championship Match on Sunday. The #30 Thoroughbreds move to 12-5 on the season, earning the league’s automatic qualifying bid into the NCAA Tournament with their 11th straight league title.
The #28 Brewers finish with a 16-3 overall mark and will now wait to see if they earn an At-Large bid into the NCAA Tournament. Selections for this year’s championship will be announced on Monday, May 9th. Today’s match marked Vassar’s 18th appearance over the last 19 years in the Liberty League Championship match, which included nine titles from 2002 through 2010.
Doubles action saw the Brewers open up a 1-0 lead as senior captain Melina Stavropoulos and sophomore Sofie Shen battled to an 8-3 victory at one against Lily Feldman and Audrey SooHoo. Skidmore bounced back, tying things at two as Grace Truong and Ella Provost recorded an 8-3 win against rookie Macey Dowd and junior Tatum Blalock.
The Thoroughbreds gained the 2-1 advantage after doubles as Konika Dhull and Sofia Carlsson earned an 8-4 win over senior captain Cara Kizilbash and rookie Elyse Duley.
Singles action was a close battle from the start, but it was Skidmore that gained the first point, making it a 3-1 margin as Provost posted a 7-6, 6-1 victory against Kizilbash from five. The Brewers battled back, pulling the match score to 3-2 as Duley powered her way to a 6-3, 6-2 win against Chanhtel Thongphok from six.
Stavropoulos pushed the score to 3-all, tying the match with a hard-fought 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 third set tiebreaking win over Truong at four, but the Thoroughbreds pulled ahead at three with Dhull posting a 6-4, 6-4 win over Shen to make it a 4-3 score and put Skidmore in position for the decision with two courts of action remaining.
Skidmore took the victory from one as Katherine Almquist defeated Blalock 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 in the third set tiebreaker to seal the Thoroughbreds 11th straight Liberty League Championship title. Both the one and the two flights were in a third set tiebreaker when the decision came from one.