This post was written by Hatchet reporter Nora Princiotti.
The women’s tennis team won when it counted in the first round of the 2013 Atlantic 10 Championship, beating Saint Joseph’s 4-3 Thursday.
The sixth-seeded Colonials (11-7) eked out a narrow victory against the 11th-seeded Hawks (13-11) in a four-hour battle that came down to the No. 3 singles match.
With the match tied at 3 apiece, senior Mimi Hamling sealed the win for her team by beating Saint Joseph’s Devi Jadeja 6-4, 7-5. This is the second year in a row in which GW has eliminated Saint Joseph’s in the first round.
GW’s next task, a quarterfinal match against third-seeded Massachusetts, started Friday at 1 p.m. The Minutewomen advanced with a decisive 5-0 sweep over 14th-seeded Dayton. GW last faced Massachusetts in 2008, when the Minutewomen came away with a 6-1 victory.
“The inches will matter today, so our ability to be disciplined in our percentages and shot selection combined with an aggressive mentality in the doubles will be key,” head coach Dawn Buth said.
Against the Hawks, the Colonials secured the doubles point and a 1-0 lead in the Nos. 2 and 3 matches. GW’s second doubles tandem of senior Dorota Lysenia and freshman Lana Robins cruised to an 8-2 win over Kristina Eisenbrand and Lauren Roy, while the No. 3 freshman duo of Egle Jakuciunaite and Stephanie Wei fought their way to an 8-6 triumph over Jadeja and Kelly Mulquin.
Buth said the girls fed off of each other’s momentum in the win.
“Stephanie’s decisive match at No. 3 gave us immediate momentum. Christie’s win at No. 6 helped Mimi pull out the clinching match,” she said.
Wei rolled to a two-set win over Eisenbrand, 6-0, 6-2, at No. 3 singles, to stretch the Colonials’ lead to 2-0. Freshman Christina Carpenter made it 3-0 with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Roy in the No. 6 match, and Hamling sealed the victory in her extra-set win over Jadeja.
A win over Massachusetts would send the Colonials to the semifinals of the A-10 championship for the first time since 2010.