Roberg, Lawless Claim Doubles Win at NCAA Championships
News Release Date:
Thursday, May 24
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Alyssa Roberg and Courtney Lawless extended their Whitman College tennis seasons for at least one more day with a 7-5, 7-6 (7-1) victory in Thursday's opening round of the NCAA Division III National Doubles Championships in Cary, N.C.
Roberg and Lawless, filling one of only 16 slots in the doubles tournament, knocked off Corrine Rauck and Kate Klein (Washington University, St. Louis) to advance to Friday's quarterfinals.
Their Friday opponents are Emory's Zahra Dawson and Gabrielle Clark. The quarterfinal matches in doubles are not expected to start until late afternoon.
Dawson and Clark advanced through this afternoon's first round with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Skidmore's Lee Ford and Nataly Mendoza.
"That was a great win (for Roberg and Lawless) over a Wash U team that beat one of the top teams in the nation (Carnegie Mellon) late in the season," Whitman coach John Hein said.
Roberg and Lawless, ranked No. 2 in the West Region in doubles, never trailed in their first set against Rauck and Klein, finally breaking free from 4-4 and 5-5 stalemates to win 7-5.
Rauck and Klein were "tough at closing the net hard and playing doubles, but they also made some mistakes in the first set," Hein said. "Alyssa's and Courtney's solid play and movement allowed them to stay ahead, and they finished off the set on a strong note."
The Missionary twosome threatened to run away with the second set, jumping to 2-1 and 4-1 leads. But Rauck and Klein, ranked No. 5 in doubles in the Central Region, won five of the next six games to grab a 6-5 advantage.
"They made us hold to get to the breaker, and it was a brilliant hold," Hein said.
Roberg, a junior, and Lawless, her first-year teammate, recovered to win the next game, sending the second set to a tie-breaker. They regained command at that point and dominated the first-to-seven-points tie-breaker.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; firstname.lastname@example.org