Jeffs Edge Carnegie Mellon in Quarterfinals, 5-4

CARY, N.C. – Caroline Richman '13 broke a 4-4 tie and earned the clinching point during the Amherst College women's tennis team's 5-4 win over Carnegie Mellon University in the NCAA Championship quarterfinals on Monday.

The third-ranked Lord Jeffs (18-3) bumped their winning streak to 10 matches and punched their ticket to the national semifinals for a fourth consecutive year. Amherst will face second-ranked Chicago tomorrow at 12:30 p.m., while Carnegie Mellon (18-6) fell just shy of making its first-ever appearance in the NCAA semifinals.  

While Chicago is looking to advance to the national title match for the first time in program history, Amherst has competed in four of the past eight NCAA finals. Fans will be able to follow all of Tuesday's action with live scoring and select video coverage

Amherst continued its dominance in doubles play by taking two of three points from Carnegie Mellon on Monday. After Laura Danzig '12 and Gabby Devlin '14 cruised to an 8-3 win over Laura Chen and Courtney Chin in the top flight, Bryn Raschke and Chelsea Motie tied things up for the Tartans with an 8-5 result against Amherst sophomores Jennifer Newman and Zoe Pangalos

The third doubles point wound up playing a significant role in the match, but it was Richman and first-year Safi Aly who came out on top for Amherst in the thrilling finish. After the teams were tied at 3-3 at the tiebreaker's first changeover and 6-6 at the second, Richman and Aly held on for the 8-6 final against Katie Cecil and Cze-Ja Tam. Richman improved to 18-0 in doubles play on the year, while the Lord Jeffs are now 27-3 since Apr. 14. 

Carnegie Mellon came back to tie the match at 3-3 after the fourth, fifth and sixth singles ended in a hurry. Tam got things started with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Aly at number six, followed by Devlin taking care of Angela Pratt in the fifth spot (6-3, 6-1). Chin found the tying point in the fourth matchup, as she defeated Pangalos by a score of 6-4, 6-3. 

Danzig handed the lead back to Amherst with a hard-fought win over Cecil in the top flight. Cecil nearly pulled off a comeback in the opening set, but Danzig held on to win the tiebreaker (7-4) before convincingly taking the second frame, 6-2. Newman didn't lose a single game in her first set against Chen at number two, but the Tartans again found the tying point when Chen battled back to win the final two sets by scores of 6-4 and 7-6(2). 

Shortly after Chen completed her comeback, Richman handed momentum back to Amherst by taking a 5-3 lead in her third set. Motie had taken the first set by a score of 6-2, but Richman won the second (6-2) and held on in the third (6-3), clinching the victory for Amherst on a double fault by Motie. 

The winner of Tuesday's Amherst-Chicago match will face either top-ranked Williams or fifth-ranked Emory in Wednesday's finals. For more information, visit the Amherst championship website

#3 Amherst def. #6 Carnegie Mellon, 5-4
1. Laura Danzig/Gabby Devlin (A) def. Laura Chen/Courtney Chin (C) 8-3
2. Bryn Raschke/Chelsea Motie (C) def. Zoe Pangalos/Jennifer Newman (A) 8-5
3. Caroline Richman/Safi Aly (A) def. Katie Cecil/Cze-Ja Tam (C) 9-8(6)

1. Laura Danzig (A) def. Katie Cecil (C) 7-6(4), 6-2
2. Laura Chen (C) def. Jennifer Newman (A) 0-6, 6-4, 7-6(2)
3. Caroline Richman (A) def. Chelsea Motie (C) 2-6, 6-2, 6-3
4. Courtney Chin (C) def. Zoe Pangalos (A) 6-4, 6-3
5. Gabby Devlin (A) def. Angela Pratt (C) 6-3, 6-1
6. Cze-Ja Tam (C) def. Safi Aly (A) 6-2, 6-0

Order of Finish (Doubles: 1, 2, 3
Order of Finish (Singles): 6, 5, 4, 1, 2, 3