COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – Still very much alive.
After a string of tight setbacks against strong squads, the Ursinus College women's tennis team broke through with a thrilling 5-4 victory over Dickinson on Saturday to keep their chances of earning a Centennial Conference playoff spot intact.
The Bears (8-9, 2-5) dropped two of three on the doubles courts but responded in a big way when the sides broke into individual competition. Ursinus cruised in the top three singles matches and to take control and clinched its massive result when sophomore Madisen Harvey pulled away for a 6-2, 6-3 victory at sixth singles.
Junior Caitlyn Sorelle and freshman Brenna Trkula each won twice for the Bears. The pair downed the top doubles outfit of the Red Devils (5-7, 2-4) by a count of 8-3, evening the match at 1-1 before the visitors won 8-5 at third doubles for a one-court upper hand.
The hosts turned things around quickly after doubles. Sorelle picked up a 6-4, 6-1 win at number one singles, and freshman Maddie Russell's 6-0, 6-0 shutout at number two gave the Bears their first lead of the day.
Trkula made it three in a row with a 6-2, 6-3 decision at third singles before Dickinson broke up the onslaught with a win at number four. Harvey ensured there would be no late rally, netting the clincher on the sixth court to make it official.
After dropping five of their first six conference matches against a gauntlet that included nationally ranked Swarthmore and Johns Hopkins as well as perennial playoff participants Haverford and Franklin & Marshall, the Bears' schedule lightens up significantly down the stretch. Ursinus heads to Muhlenberg on Wednesday before playing host to Bryn Mawr and closing out the season at Gettysburg.