Panther Women Edged By Williams in NESCAC Championship

Heather Boehm was victorious on Sunday at No. 3 singles in straight sets.
Heather Boehm was victorious on Sunday at No. 3 singles in straight sets.

The second-seeded Middlebury women's tennis team put together a comeback in singles, but eventually fell in the NESCAC Championship by a 5-3 score to top-seeded Williams. The match was played indoors at the Bay Road Tennis Club in Amherst, Massachusetts. The fourth-ranked Panthers, who advanced to the final for the third-straight year, see a seven-match winning streak snapped and fall to 14-3. Williams (18-0) claims the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament, while the Panthers are expected to receive at-large berth when the field is announced on Monday afternoon.

The Ephs gained a 3-0 lead by taking each of the doubles points. The No. 1 and No. 2 flights were 8-3 decisions, while the third slot was decided by an 8-5 tally.

In singles play, Middlebury fought all the way back to knot the score at 3-3 by winning the first three matches to finish. Katherine Hughes posted a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Leah Bush at No. 2, while Heather Boehm recorded a 7-5, 6-0 triumph one flight below against Chloe Henderson. Catherine Blazye tied the match at 3-3 with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Mia Gancayco.

Williams claimed the conference title with three-set wins at No. 6 and No. 1 respectively.

Sunday's championship contest was the third-straight year the two teams met in the NESCAC Tournament final, as the Ephs won 5-0 in 2016 and 5-2 last spring.