By: Billy Owens, Staff Writer
Towson ended its season with a 1-4 loss to James Madison in the quarterfinal round of the 2016 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Women’s Tennis Championship at the Wake Forest Indoor Tennis Complex in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Friday afternoon.
The Tigers entered the intraconference tournament as the number six seed, while the Dukes were the number three seed. This was the Tigers second consecutive season as the number six seed in the CAA tournament.
This was also the second meeting between the two teams this season, as James Madison posted a 6-1 win over Towson Jan. 31.
“It was a totally different match,” Head Coach Doug Neagle said. “With Friday’s match, we had a definite chance, and we were in there across the board.”
Due to rain, the match was played at the Wake Forest Indoor Tennis Complex instead of the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center in Elon. Additionally, play began with singles matches, rather than doubles.
James Madison took an early 3-0 lead over Towson, as Timea Guibe defeated Nicole Shakhnazarova 6-0, 7-5 at number one singles, Emma Petersen defeated A.J. Gomer 6-4, 6-1 at number four singles, and Rebecca Harris defeated Renate van Oorschodt 6-2, 6-4 at number six singles.
The Tigers started closing the gap, as Lucy Williams defeated Rachel Nelson 7-5, 6-4 at number two singles to bring the match score to 3-1. It wouldn’t be enough, though, as the Dukes clinched a spot in the tournament semifinals with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 win by Dylan Owens over Sophie Lesage at number five singles. The remaining match at number three singles was called early as a result, with James Madison’s Kimmy Herrock leading Barbora Vasilkova 6-2, 3-6, 4-3.
“They’re a tough, well-coached team,” Neagle said. “They were disciplined.”
James Madison went on to defeat number two seed Elon 4-1 in the semifinals Saturday, but were defeated by number one seed and reigning CAA champion William & Mary 4-1 in the final Sunday.
Towson finished the spring 2016 season with a 13-9 overall record and a 3-4 regular season record against CAA opponents.
“It was another positive season,” Neagle said. “We can really build from this one, and be more fit, confident and hungry, come the fall.”