WildCats See Historic Season Come to an End in Semis

Hawn and Jin earned a win in the ODAC semis.
Hawn and Jin earned a win in the ODAC semis.

For Immediate Release – 5/6/16 - #325
WildCats See Historic Season Come to an End in Semis

ASHLAND, VA – The Randolph College women's tennis team saw its 2017 season come to an end on Saturday.  The third-ranked WildCats lost to second-ranked Randolph-Macon College 5-1 in the semifinals of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) tournament, which was hosted by R-MC.

Doubles started at 5 p.m. after being pushed back due to rain.  However, all of the matches were exciting.  Keyu Jin and Aubrey Hawn dropped the first game at number one, but stormed back.  The pair took five-straight.  The match would not be a foregone conclusion, as the Yellow Jackets pair responded with three in-a-row.  Jin and Hawn retook the momentum and won the next game, starting an exchange of games.  Then when up 7-6, the pair of first-years kept the senior pair on the other side of the court down to win.  It was the 15th-straight.

Kristen Hamilton and Samantha Dickerson teamed well at number three.  The team had an extremely close match that saw the Yellow Jackets win four sets in advantage.  It allowed R-MC to take a large lead and win.

Jenna Sweet and Ashley Schmitz played a tremendous match at number two.  After going down a game, the WildCats answered with two wins.  It started a trade of games that lasted until the 'Cats had a 6-5 lead.  R-MC wheeled off two wins to retake the lead, serving with a chance to win the match.  Sweet and Schmitz showed great composure with everyone focused on their court and completed the break to tie it at seven.  However, Randolph-Macon sealed the victory with two-straight, earning a 2-1 lead into singles.

With the match being played to decision (first to five, match ends), R-MC had the upper edge.  Dickerson played at number six and played one of the Yellow Jackets who plays number one doubles.  She played tough but fell in both sets.  Hawn was the WildCat at number two and she dropped the first after taking two games.  She played well in the second and had an early 3-2 lead.  However, her opponent pulled out the set and put Randolph-Macon up 4-1.

Lauren Appel was the final WildCat to have a match finished.  She fell in the first set and came back strong in the second.  However, it would not be enough as the Yellow Jackets sealed the win and a berth in the finals.

Jin, Sweet, and Schmitz saw their matches at one, two, and four go unfinished.  Jin was up in the second, while Schmitz had a tiebreak battle in the first and was leading in the second before it went unfinished.

Randolph (13-4 overall) wraps up the historic season with the defeat.  The team finished the year with the most overall wins and most ODAC wins in a season, and this was also the first-ever appearance in the semis.  It also sees the end of the career for Sweet.  She leaves the program with the most wins ever by a 'Cat, holding the singles and doubles records.