Ashland, Va. - The Virginia Wesleyan University women's tennis team opened up ODAC championship play today in huge fashion by knocking off #2 seeded Randolph Macon College, 5-1. The Marlins entered postseason play as the ODAC's #7 seed.
Virginia Wesleyan opened the match by sweeping all 3 doubles, all in hard fought battles. After falling behind 1-4, VWU's #3 team of senior Taylor Witherspoon (Fairfax, VA) and junior Kristina Sabelstrom (Colorado Springs, CO) stormed back quickly to take their match 8-6, putting the Marlins up 1-0. At #2, junior Katie Staman (Lancaster, PA) and senior Kellen Phillips (Alexandria, VA) earned a hard fought 8-6 win over Setphanie Yeager and Olivia Uzer. After being up 7-4 serving the Marlins #1 team of freshmen Makayla Velic (Jacksonville, FL) and Audrey Bally (Nice, France) held on for 9-7 triumph over Kristin Dantzler and Gaby Tersigni.
With the Marlins up 3-0 they only needed to take two of six singles matches to secure the upset. Freshman Courtney Simmons (Reevesville, SC) made quick work of Olivia Uzer at #4 taking the match 6-1, 6-0. Soon thereafter the Marlins dropped #3 singles making the overall match score 4-1. Needing just one more match to secure the win the Marlins turned to first year standout Kristina Sabelstrom. Sablestrom defeated senior Sarah Hinson 6-0, 6-3 propelling the Marlins into the semifinals for the first time in recent history.
With the win the Marlins improve to 12-8 on the season while Randolph Macon finishes with a record of 12-4. Virginia Wesleyan will advance to the ODAC semifinal to take on Lynchburg College on Saturday May 5th on the campus of Virginia Wesleyan University. Lynchburg defeated VWU 5-4 back on March 16. All semifinal matches will take place at the Everett Tennis Center. In case of rain, matches will be moved to the Folkes-Stevens Tennis Center on the campus of Old Dominion University.