WINCHESTER, Mass.- In its first season as a member of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC), the Eastern Nazarene College women's tennis team dropped a 5-4 nail-biter to Johnson & Wales in the GNAC semifinals Saturday at Winchester Indoor Tennis Center.
Eastern Nazarene, the No. 2 seed in the GNAC Playoffs, moves to 10-2 overall with the loss while the third-seeded Wildcats improve to 12-4 on the year and advance to play top-seeded Colby-Sawyer in the GNAC Championship match Sunday afternoon.
The Lions claimed a 2-1 lead after a pair of doubles wins.
Johnson & Wales rallied for four singles wins to seal the victory and clinch a spot in the GNAC Championship for the sixth-straight year.
Annelise Sherrill (Elk Grove, Calif.) dropped a 6-0, 6-1 decision at the No. 6 singles position to Gabriela Velazquez as the Wildcats leveled the match at 2-2.
Eastern Nazarene gained a 3-2 edge after Ruttkowski rolled past Torre 6-3, 6-3 at the No. 2 spot to improve to 12-0 in singles matches this year.
Johnson & Wales knotted the match at 3-3 as Arretche fell to Bobey 6-3, 6-1 at the No. 5 slot.
The Lions earned another singles win to take a 4-3 lead as Biondi outlasted Parry in three sets at the No. 1 singles position. After dropping the first set 6-4, Biondi stormed back to claim the second 7-6 with a 7-4 decision in a tiebreaker. In the deciding third frame, Biondi prevailed 6-3 to collect her ninth singles win of the fall.
The Wildcats pulled even at 4-4 with a three-set victory at the No. 4 singles spot. Jimenez captured the opening set 6-4 before Moore bounced back with a 6-3 win in the second frame and a 6-1 decision in the third.
Duval dropped a closely-contested, three-set battle at the No. 3 position as Macchirole clinched the match for Johnson & Wales. Duval fell in a tiebreaker in the first set but clawed back to triumph 6-3 in the second set. Macchirole edged Duval 7-5 in a tiebreaker to claim the third frame 7-6.