(ROME, Ga.) - In a battle for fifth place at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Oracle Cup on Saturday, October 14, the Carnegie Mellon University women's tennis pair of sophomore Vinaya Rao (Vernon Hills, Ill. / Adlai E. Stevenson) and freshman Melissa Strome (West Bloomfield, Mich. / West Bloomfield) used a second-set comeback to win the match and finish fifth in the national tournament.
Rao and Strome were pitted against University Athletic Association (UAA) counterparts, senior Grace Deering and freshman Ally Persky of Washington University in St. Louis. Deering and Persky won the first set 6-3 before Rao and Strome battled back in the second set to force a super tiebreaker.
In the second set, Deering and Persky led 3-1 before Rao and Strome tied it at 3-all. The Tartan pair faced match-point down 5-3, but pulled even at 5-5, took the lead at 6-5 and then fell behind 5-0 in the tiebreaker before rallying for an 11-9 win. The second-set tiebreaker set the match up for a third-set super tiebreaker with the first side to 10 winning the match.
Rao and Strome road the momentum to a 5-0 lead and than a 9-2 advantage, before winning the set by a 10-4 score.