Women’s tennis upsets Carnegie Mellon, finishes third in conference
Senior Natalie Tingir won her 100th college match to lift the No. 11 Washington University women’s tennis team to a 5-4 upset of No. 4 Carnegie Mellon University on Sunday. Tingir’s 2-6, 7-6 (1), 7-6 (5) triumph in No. 1 singles, the final match of the day, earned the Bears third place in the University Athletic Association Championships, held Friday through Sunday in Altamonte Springs, Fla.
After sneaking by No. 20 Brandeis University in the first round with a 5-4 win, the Bears lost 6-3 to No. 2 Emory Saturday in the semifinals. They trailed Carnegie Mellon 4-3 when sophomore Corinne Rauck tied it up with a win in No. 6 singles. Rauck bounced back from a 6-0 defeat in the first set to win the next pair, 7-5, 6-2.
“I was definitely worried after the first set because I lost the first set 6-0,” Rauck said. “But then in my head, I was just thinking, I know my team really needs this point; I can’t just go out here and not really give it my all.”
Just minutes later, Tingir completed her personal milestone and closed out the team victory on a separate court.
“That was one of the personal goals I made for myself at the beginning of the season, but I actually completely forgot about that when I was playing the match,” Tingir said of her 100th victory. “So I guess that was really good because I didn’t put too much pressure on myself.”
Tingir entered the weekend with 96 career wins. Against Brandeis, she teamed with sophomore Theresa Petraskova to win No. 2 doubles, 8-4. In No. 1 singles the next day, Tingir scored a 6-3, 6-4 upset of Emory’s Gabrielle Clark, the top-ranked player from the Atlantic South Region. Before her singles win against Carnegie Mellon, she and Petraskova won 8-6 in No. 2 doubles.
Rauck and junior Kate Klein won 8-5 in No. 1 doubles, but junior Paige Madara and freshman Hanna Newstadt dropped No. 3 doubles 8-1.
Petraskova was the only Wash. U. victor in four singles matches (6-1, 6-1 in No. 3 singles) before Rauck and Tingir picked up their key wins.
Sunday’s match was a far cry from the last time the two schools played, on March 3, when Carnegie Mellon won 9-0.
“Today, [the] third day [of UAAs], we’re tired, we have finals next week, there’s a lot going on, and they still stepped it up and played beautifully against Carnegie [Mellon],” head coach Kelly Stahlhuth said.
On the first day against Brandeis, the Bears seized control early with three doubles wins. They lost four singles matches, but sophomore Betsy Edershile won in No. 5 singles, 6-4, 6-3, and Rauck triumphed 6-4, 6-1 in the No. 6 spot.
“We knew Brandeis was going to be tough—we were going to have to be on our best game, couldn’t take them lightly,” Stahlhuth said.
The Bears took three matches from Emory in the semifinals, including Tingir’s upset in No. 1 singles.
Edershile and Madara won 8-6 in No. 3 doubles, and Petraskova claimed a 6-3, 6-3 victory in No. 3 singles.
“We did the best we’ve ever done against Emory,” Tingir said. “We gave them a little bit of a scare.”
The Bears’ 2-1 weekend improved their record to 15-7, and they will find out about NCAA tournament seeding on Monday. Stahlhuth said she will give her players a few days of rest to study for finals before they return to the practice courts.
“The main thing is just to keep our strokes going and keep our volleys—maybe one or little things to work on with doubles, but we’ll kind of keep the same routine we’ve been going on,” she said.