ORLANDO, Fla. – The Haverford College women's tennis team faced a tough challenge on Tuesday afternoon as the Fords played Methodist who came into the matched ranked 11th in the latest ITA's Atlantic South Region release. The regional matchup was a hotly contested battle at each position, but it was the Monarchs (7-3) who ultimately emerged with a 6-3 victory over the Fords (1-2).
Haverford secured its first point of the afternoon in doubles with the pairing of sophomores Jane Bary and Rory Lewis doubling up their opponents in the third doubles position, 8-4. Bary and Lewis are now 2-0 together with both of those wins coming on this trip.
The back-and-forth doubles action gave Methodist a 2-1 lead heading into singles play. After an 8-1 win at No. 2 doubles, the Monarchs and Fords were tied at seven-all in the top doubles match which featured Greta Koch and Abby Payson for Haverford. Despite the veteran presence for the Fords, it was Methodist who both held and broke serve in the final two games for the 9-7 win.
The Fords controlled the middle of the lineup with resilient efforts from both Payson and Bary. Bouncing back from a tough setback in singles, Payson won her first set by a 6-4 score at No. 3 singles. However, she faced more adversity after a second set tiebreak went the way of her opponent. The second set was decided by a 7-5 tiebreak after the players evenly split the first 12 games. Ultimately, the Fords' captain showed great leadership by coming through during the 10-point tiebreak, 10-4. Payson now has three wins this year dating back to the fall.
Jane Bary was a double winner for Haverford in the No. 4 singles spot. After her win in doubles, Bary was a straight set winner in singles with back-to-back 6-4 set wins. Bary's victory was the first of her Haverford career in singles.
Haverford mounted stiff opposition at each of the other singles positions but was unable to come away with the two more needed victories. Emily Shutman assumed the No. 1 singles position and won six games over her two sets. Koch played No. 2 singles and took two games in each of her sets. Rory Lewis won four games at the No. 5 singles match, while Clara Farrehi competed in the No. 6 position for Haverford.
Women's tennis will have a chance to quickly put today's result behind them as the Fords take on regionally-ranked Oglethorpe tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. Oglethorpe is No. 13 in the latest Atlantic South Region rankings. Haverford's final match of the trip to Florida will be against Division I Western Carolina. The Fords will then spend the rest of the week in Florida practicing for the remainder of their spring schedule that awaits up north.