Roberg and Lawless on to Semifinals at ITA Nationals

News Release Date:
Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mobile, Ala.- When Courtney Lawless (So., Austin, TX) and Alyssa Roberg (Sr., Santa Cruz, CA) qualified for the main draw of the ITA National as a doubles team last year, they were satisfied. They had achieved what they hoped to achieve, and the rest of the tournament was icing on the cake. This year was a little different. After quarterfinaling in the NCAA Individual National Championships last year, they came into this tournament seeded 2nd and ranked 10th nationally. They would not be satisfied with another first round loss, and so they didn't have to be.

Alyssa Roberg, Sr.
Courtney Lawless, So.

Continuing their string of dominant perfomances, Whitman's dream team advanced past the quarterfinals with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Bridget Doyle and Mikayla Becich of Carleton College. In the first game, Becich unleashed a pair of intimidating serves to give Carleton a 1-0. That was the only lead they would have. Roberg quickly held her own service game before the pair broke Doyle, and they were off to the races. They managed to break Becich the second time she served, and held both their games to win the set 6-1.

Said Coach John Hein, "Courtney and Alyssa came out with a lot of confidence. They had to counter a team that didn't make many mistakes, had a lot of offence, and also moved well together. Besides just executing good shots, it was important that they communicated well and played smart. It was an impressive display of variety and knowing the right times to be aggressive."

Carleton upped their game in the second set, jumping out to a 2-1 lead. But the Missionaries stayed, "composed throughout the match. In every close game they were able to raise their level and win the big points..." From there, they won a couple deuce games to get back on serve with a 4-3 lead. They carried that momentum into the next Doyle service game, as they broke and served out the victory.

In the semifinals, Roberg and Lawless will meet Meghan Buell and Claire Cahill of Washington and Lee. Cahill and Beull advanced to the semis with a 10-8 tiebreaker victory over the 3rd-seeded team of Alexandra Scotten and Laura Wade of UC Santa Cruz. The Santa Cruz team managed to beat Roberg and Lawless in a dual match at the end of last season, so Whitman knows they have their work cut out for them.

Hein summarized, "In the national semifinals, every team is playing great tennis, and to get to the final... we'll have to stay confident and move and communicate like we did to day. If we do, we feel great no matter who we're playing."

The semifinal match will be played at 1 PM Central Time. Follow Coach Hein (@Coachhein) on Twitter for up-to-the-minute match updates. If Roberg and Lawless get past the semifinal match, the finals will be played at 5 PM alongside the men's doubles final. Their potential finals opponents would likely be Gabbie Clark and Emma Taylor of Emory. Clark made up half of the Emory doubles team that knocked Lawless and Roberg out of the individual nationals in the quarters last year before finishing as runners-up.