Friday, April 18, 2014
- by B.B. Branton
A excellent season with 18 wins and five all-conference players for Chattanooga women's tennis came to a disappointing end Friday with a 4-0 loss to Samford in a semifinal match of the Southern Conference Tennis Championship at Champions Club in Rivermont.
The No.2 Samford Bulldogs (20-2) won two of the three doubles to claim the doubles team point and then won at Nos.1-3-5 singles to secure the victory against the No.3 Mocs.
Championship Finals: No.2 Samford takes on No.4 Elon in Saturday's final at 2 p.m. Elon upset No.1 Furman, 4-3, in the other semifinal match.
Men's Final at 10 a.m. has No.1 Elon vs. No.2 Furman.
"I had hoped that we could take the doubles point after Samford won it in our match with them last week," said UTC coach Jeff Clark. "Their girls battled back (down 7-4) at No.2 to win the deciding doubles match and they earned it.
"The doubles took a little wind out of our sails and lifted their spirits."
Samford's Stephanie N'tcha (No.1) was first off the court with a 6-2, 6-3 win against Kayla Jones, quickly followed by Yasmeen Ebada defeating Alexa Flynn, 6-4, 6-1 at No.3 for a 3-0 lead.
UTC had a lead in the third set at No.6 and up a set at No.4 when Samford's Emily Mallory ended it with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 triumph against Claire Mulyadi.
"We battled for three and half hours with a great crowd behind us and came up short, but had a great year," Clark stated.
"We finished third in the regular season (first time since 2002) had five all-conference players, tied for the second most wins (18) in school history and advanced to the SoCon semis for the second time in three years. All that is something to be proud of."
Biggest Team Improvement: "The biggest improvement from last year to this year has been the improved mental toughness at practice and for every match," said Clark.
Kudos to UTC Administration: "Our administrative staff including Laura Herron (senior associate athletics director) and David Blackburn (athletics director) have been unbelievable in helping our tennis teams and knowing the value of college tennis in such a tradition-rich tennis town," Clark stated.
Strong Senior Leadership: "Your team is only as good as your senior leadership and our lone senior Alexa Flynn did a great job for us," Clark stated. "She was injured parts of her first three seasons, but worked hard prior to this year and was healthy all season."
150 Wins: For a career, Alexa Flynn won 75 singles and 75 doubles matches ... she won her last singles match in the quarterfinals Thursday and the last doubles victory of her career today against Samford.
No.2 Samford 4, No.3 Chattanooga 0
1. Alexa Flynn/Kaylene Chadwell (UTC) def. Kristin Lewis/Emily Mallory (SAM) 8-5
|2. Yasmeen Ebada/Carita Moolman (SAM) def. Kayla Jones/Katie Polk (UTC) 8-7 (6-4)
|3. Stephanie N'tcha/Jessica Northcutt (SAM) def. Kelsey Coots/Claire Mulyadi (UTC) 8-2
1. Stephanie N'tcha (SAM) def. Kayla Jones (UTC) 6-2, 6-3
|2. Kristin Lewis (SAM) vs. Kaylene Chadwell (UTC) 7-6 (8-6), 4-2, unfinished
|3. Yasmeen Ebada (SAM) def. Alexa Flynn (UTC) 6-4, 6-1
|4. Kelsey Coots (Chatt) vs. Jessica Northcutt (SAM), 6-4, 4-5 unfinished
|5. Emily Mallory (SAM) def. Claire Mulyadi (UTC) 7-6 (7-5), 6-1
6. Katie Polk (Chatt) vs.Lauren Caballero (SAM), 1-6, 6-1, 2-1 unfinished
contact B.B. Branton at email@example.com