Fourth-Ranked Women’s Tennis Wins Fourth-Straight Regional, Advances to NCAA Quarterfinals

Fourth-Ranked Women’s Tennis Wins Fourth-Straight Regional, Advances to NCAA Quarterfinals

The fourth-ranked Middlebury women’s tennis team hosted an NCAA Regional last weekend, advancing to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the fifth time in six years and seventh time overall with a 5-1 win over Skidmore on Saturday. Matches took place outdoors on the Proctor Tennis Courts. The Panthers advanced to the final with a 5-0 triumph over SUNY Geneseo on Friday morning. Middlebury will play Wesleyan in the quarterfinals on Monday, May 21 at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center in Claremont, California.

On Friday, Middlebury raced out to a 3-0 advantage at the conclusion of doubles. Sophomore Heather Boehm (Miami, Fla.) and junior Molly Paradies (Atlanta, Ga.) posted an 8-0 victory at No. 3 over SUNY Geneseo’s Gretchen Ayoub and Cate Gluchowski. The Panthers doubled their lead when sophomores Catherine Blazye (London, England) and Maddi Stow (Wilton, Conn.) tallied an 8-0 victory over Nina Lurie and Dana Sorrentino in the second flight. The No. 1 duo of sophomores Skylar Schossberger (Eagle, Idaho) and Katherine Hughes (Haddonfield, N.J.) rounded out the sweep with an 8-1 triumph over the Knights’ Rachel Ollis and Vanessa Lam-Tran.

In singles matches, the Panthers were victorious at No. 4 and No. 5 within minutes of each other to seal the match, surrendering just one game on the four remaining courts. In the fourth spot, Blazye defeated Sorrentino by scores of 6-0, 6-0, while Schossberger clinched the match at No. 5 by similar 6-0, 6-0 tallies against Zara Shah.

The remaining four matches went unfinished with the Panthers up on each court. Junior Christina Puccinelli (New York, N.Y.) held a 5-1 lead against Lam-Tran in the top spot, while Hughes grabbed the opening set by a 6-0 score and was ahead 4-0 at No. 2 against Ollis. Boehm was up by a set (6-0) and led 3-0 against Lurie in the third flight, while Paradies secured the first set 6-0 and was at match point against Gluchowski at No. 6.

During Saturday’s contest, Middlebury took a 2-1 advantage following doubles play. The Panther duo of Boehm and Paradies picked up the first point at No. 3 doubles with an 8-0 win over Jessica Ampel and Alexa Goldberg. The Thoroughbred team of Risa Fukushige and Michelle Fuca evened the score at 1-1, winning the last four games for an 8-5 victory over Hughes and Schossberger. At No. 2, Middlebury took a 2-1 edge when Stow and Blazye edged Skidmore's Renee Karchere-Sun and Ada Wiggins, 8-6.

In the singles matches, Middlebury picked up their third point with a 6-0, 6-2 win at No. 5 from Schossberger over Laura Swenson. The Panthers earned their fourth and fifth points of the match seconds apart. Hughes eased past Wiggins in the second spot 6-4, 6-0, while Boehm clinched the match with a 6-1, 6-0 triumph against Karchere-Sun at No. 3.

The remaining three matches competing went unfinished, including match points at No. 4 and No. 6. Puccinelli grabbed the opening set 6-1 in the top spot against Fukushige before the Thoroughbred won the opening game of set number two. At No. 4, Blazye was playing match point against Fuca (6-2, 5-2), while Paradies was also serving for the match in the sixth spot against Ampel (6-0, 5-3).

• Women’s tennis record: 16-3
• Up Next: 5/21 vs. Wesleyan – (NCAA Quarterfinal; Claremont, California)