Women’s tennis

Posted by admin | Women’s tennis | | Tuesday 20 March 2012 1:33 pm

Women’s tennis: Strong singles play sends U.Va. past Tribe.

William and Mary entered Sunday’s match against No. 7 Virginia after splitting its two matches in the past week. The College knocked off Wisconsin at home last Sunday, but then had its momentum halted in a 5-2 defeat to N.C. State Wednesday.The Tribe’s attempt to knock off Virginia came up short as the College lost all but one of its matches, resulting in a 6-1 defeat. The match moved the Cavaliers to 12-2 overall and dropped the College to 4-11.

“U.Va. is definitely not an unbeatable team, despite their ranking and record,” head coach Meredith Geiger-Walton said. “Even without a full lineup, which I have yet to have had this entire season, we were still in a position to win. There’s no doubt we’ve probably suffered more losses given the fact that we’ve been fighting through some of these matches without a full lineup.

Virginia lost the first match of the day, as the College’s nationally ranked No. 39 doubles tandem of sophomore Maria Belaya and sophomore Jeltje Loomans defeated the No. 16 doubles team of senior Emily Fraser and sophomore Li Xi. After the opening set ended in a tie, the College’s duo won the tiebreaker to take the match 8-7 (4).The Cavaliers then recovered to win the next two matches, capturing the doubles point. U.Va.’s Erin Vierra and Hana Tomljanovic downed junior Anik Cepeda and sophomore Hope Johnson, 8-2 at the No. 2 spot, while senior Katie Kargl and senior Toni Ford, 8-3 at the No. 3 spot, gave the Cavaliers a 2-1 doubles victory.

Despite the Cavaliers doubles victory, the Belaya-Loomans win counted for the duo’s 16th win of the season, and third win over a top-25 nationally ranked group.Moving into singles play, Belaya lost to No. 15 Emily Fraser, 7-5, 6-3, in the No. 1 seed match up. The No. 2 seeds provided some excitement, as Virginia’s No. 42 senior Lindsey Herdenbergh struggled to get past Loomans. Herdenbergh won the first set 6-2, but Loomans stormed back to claim the second set with an identical 6-2 score, setting up a crucial final set. Herdenbergh prevailed in the third set, dropping Loomans by a 6-4 count.

The rest of the Tribe fared no better, as each match saw Virginia cruise to a win. No. 90 Xi handed Johnson a 6-0, 6-1 loss in the No. 3 position. Virginia’s Vierra handled Kargl with relative ease, earning a 6-1, 6-1, straight set victory in the No. 5 position. Finally, U.Va.’s Caryssa Peretz defeated sophomore Sydney Smith to round out the Cavaliers’s victory.

The College’s lone point came from Cepeda’s win over Tomljanovic. Cepeda dropped the first set 6-4, and was leading the second set 2-1 when Tomljanovic was forced to retire, providing the College with a victory.The Tribe returns home for a match against Virginia Tech before playing host to Ivy League foes Columbia and Harvard over the weekend.It was evident to us that a team ranked top-10 in the country is not unbeatable and we are so close to being a team in the top-10 in the country,” Geiger-Walton said. “We just need a few things to fall our way and there is no doubt we will be a different team with a full line up.”

Kentucky women

Posted by admin | Kentucky women | | Tuesday 20 March 2012 1:29 pm

Kentucky women hold off McNeese State 68-62 in NCAA opener.

Kentucky’s star was off.But the Cats showed they are much, much more than A’dia Mathies.They had just enough of everyone else to get past a gritty McNeese State team 68-62 on Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.”Any night anybody can step up,” Mathies said after the win at Hilton Coliseum. “You never know who it’s going to be. You can’t just expect to shut down one player and have the whole team fold.”Nobody really shined; we all did it collectively,” said Mathies, who picked up two fouls in the first two minutes and finished with just six points.Kentucky (26-6), which earned a No. 2 seed in the tournament for the first time since 1982, had others pick up the slack.Senior Keyla Snowden came off the bench and scored all of her team-high 11 points in the second half. Azia Bishop added 10 points, three rebounds and three blocked shots.

A collection of Cats contributed, including Bria Goss, Amber Smith, Samarie Walker and Samanatha Drake each pitching in eight points. Kastine Evans added seven points.

“It was a tough situation to be in and other people just stepped up,” said Smith, the point guard, who had seven rebounds and four assists in the win. “Kastine stepped up; Keyla stepped up; other people stepped up.”It was UK’s post trio of Bishop, Drake and Walker that did the most damage. Together, they helped the Cats outrebound the Cowgirls 58-40.The 58 boards, including 36 on the defensive end, was the most for UK this season.Walker had 13 rebounds and Drake had a game-high four blocks.”Our post players actually looked like high-level players today,” Kentucky Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “It’s been a while since that happened.”UK grabbed a double-digit lead early in the second half. But with nine minutes to go, McNeese State (26-8) scored seven unanswered to cut UK’s lead to 46-42.

“That was just too close for comfort,” Smith said. “Coach said in the huddle, ‘We’ve got this. Let’s get after them for four minutes.’ We just settled down and sat down and guarded them.”That was as close as it would get.

UK responded with an 11-3 run to put it out of reach. The Cowgirls hung around, but never got the late surge they needed.”We don’t play a whole lot of folks and I thought fatigue set in,” Cowgirls Coach Brooks Donald-Williams said. “Our lack of depth hurt us. … When they made their runs, I felt like we were really fatigued and when we gathered ourselves, we went right back at them.”Kentucky’s depth was the advantage, outscoring the McNeese State bench 31-8.Despite having Mathies and UK’s next two leading scorers, Goss and Snowden, combine for three points in the first half, the Cats led McNeese State 31-28 at the break.”In the first half, our three leading scorers have no field goals,” Mitchell said. “That’s a difficult, difficult scenario for us to blow the doors off somebody. I just don’t think that was going to happen today with the way McNeese played.”

The Cowgirls were led by Caitlyn Baggett’s game-high 22 points. Martika Hull added 20 points, 13 rebounds and six steals.”I thought we did a great job of attacking and taking advantage of their pressure up top,” said Donald-Williams, whose team didn’t buckle under UK’s pressure, turning the ball over just 13 times (a new low for a UK opponent this season). “They challenge everything you do and I thought we really handled it well.”

Kentucky had its challenges, too, and handled those well.That’s what Mitchell said he’s going to remember, not that Mathies struggled or that UK’s press wasn’t as effective as it usually is.Snowden agreed. UK was happy to survive and advance.”No matter if we won by one point — or a half of a point if we could — we just needed to get to that next game,” she said. “And that’s what we did.”