Women Win First CSAC Tennis Championship Title in University History

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With the sun shining down, the Highlanders endured the wind and their com-petition, sweeping the CSAC Championship and taking home the title for the first time in women’s tennis history!

Against Bryn Athyn, the Highlanders rolled thanks to their top-notch doubles teams. Bianca Birney and Lauren Griffith utilized their perfectly contrasting strengths to dominate #2 doubles with an 8-0 win. Kara Williams and Charlotte Allen took an 8-3 win, and after a slow start Allyssa Peters and Maya Neal completed the Highlanders’ clean slate with an 8-6 win. Staked to a 3-0 lead, the Highlanders raced against each other in search of the game-clinching points. Ellie Santos made quick work in the #6 singles match winning 6-1, 6-0 for the fourth point, and Bianca Birney stayed perfect on the day with a 6-0, 6-0 win to send the Highlanders to the championship.

After a brief rain delay, the Highlanders set in against Cedar Crest seeking to avenge their only CSAC loss of the season. Fortunately for the Highlanders, there were a few key personnel differences from their match earlier this season, namely in the presence of Bianca Birney and Charlotte Allen. Birney, whose steady, stellar play has lifted the Highlanders on many occasions this season, took charge in both of her matches. The sophomore teamed with Lauren Griffith for an 8-4 win in doubles play, and dominated the #2 singles spot with a 6-1, 6-0 win for two huge points on the day. Allen teamed with Kara Williams to overpower yet another #3 doubles match and take an 8-1 win.

The #1 doubles match was a tightly contested affair between Allyssa Peters and Maya Neal and Mercedes Melo and Alyssa Esparo for Cedar Crest. The Highlanders battled hard, but were unable to come out on top, dropping their first point of the championship with an 8-4 loss. Birney earned the Highlanders’ first point of singles, staking Cairn to a 3-1 lead, while Griffith followed just behind with a win of her own. The freshman used her excellent power from the back line and quick hands at the net to take a 6-1, 6-1 victory in the #4 spot.

Sitting one point away from the win, all eyes turned to Ellie Santos in the #6 singles spot. Santos played tough tennis all afternoon, using pinpoint accuracy to outfox her opponent. When her opponent’s final shot went long, the Highlanders first ever CSAC title became official with the 6-3, 6-1 win.

Building on the accomplishment of the women’s tennis team, the University has since launched the Cairn Tennis Academy, which offers camps and lessons to the local community. A varsity men’s tennis team is also slated to begin competition in Fall 2019.