(GREENCASTLE, Ind.) - The Carnegie Mellon University women's tennis team will play for the 2014 ITA National Team Indoor Championship on Sunday, March 2 after defeating the University of Chicago 7-2 on Saturday in the semifinals. The semifinal win marked the third straight for the Tartans as they've played for the ITA National Team Indoor Championship the past two years.
The Tartans, ranked ninth in the nation, went up 1-0 after the No. 3 doubles pair of junior Lydia Utkin (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Jerome) and freshman Nicholle Torres (Weston, Fla./Great Neck South) won 8-4 after jumping out to a 6-1 lead. Junior Bryn Raschke (Del Mar, Calif./Torrey Pines) and freshman Vanessa Pavia (Thornwood, N.Y./Academy of our Lady of Good Counsel) moved their winning streak to six after an 8-2 win at No. 1 doubles. The pair started winning the first game, increased it to 5-1 before giving up a game and then moving on for the win.
At No. 2 doubles, junior Angela Pratt (Saratoga, Calif./St. Francis) and sophomore Brooke Tsu (Hillsborough, Calif./Burlingame) fell in a tiebreaker 9-8 (8-4). The pair led for most of the match but never by more than one point as Chicago was able to win the final three games for the victory and pull the score to 2-1 in favor of the Tartans.
Pratt was the first to finish singles play as she won 6-2, 6-0 at No. 2 singles to give the Tartans a 3-1 advantage. The Maroons, ranked eighth in the nation, closed the gap with a win at No. 3 singles as Tsu fell 6-1, 6-1.
As senior Katie Cecil (Huntington Beach, Calif./Ocean View) jumped ahead 3-1 at No. 4 singles, Pavia forced a third set at No. 1 singles by winning her second set 6-3 after falling in the first 6-3. The freshman trailed in the third set 3-2 before winning two straight games to go up 4-3 and hold on for the 6-4 win to put the Tartans up 4-1. Cecil then finished off her No. 4 match 6-4, 6-4 to give the Tartans the fifth and match deciding point.
Torres won her first set at No. 5 singles 6-3 and earned the Tartans sixth match point with a 6-2 second-set win and her fifth straight singles win. At No. 6 singles, sophomore Elizabeth Martin (St. Simons Island, Ga./Frederica Academy) won her first set 6-2 and then won five straight games in the second set to rally from down 5-2 for a 7-5 win.
The Tartans will face No. 7 Johns Hopkins University on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. in a rematch of last year's championship which the Blue Jays won 5-4.