By Adam Samson/Sports Information Director
COLUMBIA, Mo. – In a down-to-the-wire match with NCAA Division III Westminster College, the Stephens College tennis team edged its second consecutive opponent by a score of 5-4.
Having won two straight, the Stars are now 4-6 on the season with three contests remaining before the NAIA Unaffiliated Group Tournament (AMC, HAAC, MCC) on April 24-25.
"Gracie [Strawn] played with a lot of composure and confidence," head tennis coach Lexie Payne said. "The team really played for one another to pull this win together. I was very proud of them and it was a great ending with the match being so close."
At No. 1 doubles, Stephens' team of Courtney Huels and Hannah Dorey coasted to an 8-2 victory. Winning for the second match in a row, Huels and Dorey improved their overall No. 1 doubles record to 4-5 on the year.
Down 2-0, the doubles tandem of Strawn and Aleesa Wolf stormed back and won the next eight games against Westminster's Laura Kelly and Laura Wiltshire. The win at No. 2 doubles solidified a 2-1 lead for SC heading into singles action.
Huels cruised to an impressive 6-1, 6-1 victory at No. 1 singles, but the Stars had to play from behind following the No. 2, No. 5 and No. 6 singles matches.
The visiting Blue Jays picked up wins in each of those flights, including a nailbiter at No. 2 between Laura Kelly (WC) and Dorey (SC). Westminster needed just one more win to clinch the match. Wolf (No. 4 singles) evened the team score at 4-4 with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Laura Wiltshire of Westminster.
The winner at No. 3 singles determined the final outcome. After falling behind in the first set [6-2], Strawn sealed the deal with a second-set win (7-5) and a 10-6 win in the tiebreaker.
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