Roberg, Lawless place 4th at ITA Nationals
News Release Date:
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Just hours after dropping a gut wrenching 4-6, 6-4, 10-8 decision in the semifinals of the ITA Small College National Championships, Whitman's Alyssa Roberg (Sr., Santa Cruz, CA) and Courtney Lawless (So., Austin, TX) returned to the court Friday evening and dropped another hotly-contested match to finish 4th at the event. On the other side of the net were Kara Shoemaker and Rebecca Curran of the 5-time defending national champion Williams College.
|Alyssa Roberg, Sr.|
|Courtney Lawless, So.|
The match looked to be another barnburner in the early going, as Roberg and Lawless jumped out to an early break lead at 2-1. Shoemaker and Curran, who also lost 10-8 in a tiebreaker in their semifinal match, responded immediately and broke back to get to 2-2. That was the first of eight consecutive games for Williams, which captured the first set 6-2 and took a 3-0 lead in the second.
Despite bringing several games to deuce, the Whits were unable to slow down the smoldering Purple Cows. As Head Coach John Hein put it, "Every time we pushed, they had an answer." Lawless held to get Whitman on the board at 1-3 in the second, but the Williams duo squashed any thoughts of a comeback by reeling off the next three games to seal a 6-2, 6-1 victory.
Despite the loss, the 4th place finish represents the high-water mark for any Whitman women's tennis player at the national event. It also displays consistent improvement for Whitman's top doubles team, which finished 8th in 2010 and 6th in 2011.
The Whitman Women's tennis team will now take a well-deserved break as they gear up for the 2013 spring season. Last year, they placed second in the conference standings before winning the conference tournament and advancing to the NCAA National Championships. With Roberg and Lawless leading the way, the team looks to be heavy favorites to win the NWC conference championship for the first time in Coach Hein's five-year tenure.