UNCW Press Release
WILLIASMBURG, Virginia – No. 2-seed UNCW will vie for the CAA Women's Tennis Championship for the first time on Sunday after thumping third-seeded James Madison, 4-1, in the semifinals Saturday morning at William & Mary's Millie West Tennis Facility.
The Seahawks, 14-6 overall, will face 21-time champion and host William & Mary at 10 a.m. Sunday for the CAA's automatic berth to the NCAA Championships. The top-seeded Tribe blanked No. 4 Delaware, 4-0, in the other semifinal pairing.
"I was really pleased with the way we responded after losing the doubles point today," said first-year UNCW Head Coach Evan Clark. "We really played well in every singles spot. Everyone is confident and it shows.
"It's a great accomplishment for this team to be the first one in the program's history to make the CAA championship match. There is a reason this is the first group to do it. It's a special group and I expect them to do special things tomorrow."
In Saturday's match, the Seahawks rallied from an early deficit with strong play up and down the lineup to win their fourth straight match and snap JMU's four-match string.
UNCW won the first match off the court in doubles when the No. 2 team of Angie Sekely and Alyssa Ritchie trimmed JMU's Cara Wirth and Katherine Bulling, 8-5. But the Dukes battled back with wins at the No. 3 and No. 1 slots to grab the early point. It was only the eighth time this season the Seahawks have lost the doubles point.
Clark's club displayed its balance, though, with excellent play in singles and won four consecutive matches before the match was halted. The Seahawks are now 74-37 in singles this spring.
Junior Kelly Cameron, playing No. 5 singles, brought the match even with a 6-0, 6-2 domination of Wirth for the 16th win of the season and Ritchie put the Seahawks in front for good with a 6-2, 6-2 triumph over Bulling at No. 4 singles.
Freshman Christine Kharkevich then pushed the margin to 3-1 by zipping past Megan Douglass, 6-3, 6-0, before Sekely defeated JMU's Taylor Pinchoff, 7-6 (1), 6-2, at No. 1 singles to clinch the match for the Seahawks for the third time in the last four matches and the fourth time this season.
UNCW has faced W&M four times in the CAA Tournament and dropped all four matchups, including a 4-0 loss to the Tribe in the 2011 semifinals.
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