Jeffs Hold On, Edge No. 3 Williams, 5-4

Contact: Mike O'BrienDevlin2.jpg


(Courtesy of CMS Sports Information)

(Courtesy of CMS Sports Information)

CLAREMONT, Calif. – The second-ranked Amherst College women's tennis team is headed to the NCAA Championship match for the sixth time in program history after narrowly edging archrival and third-ranked Williams, 5-4.

The Jeffs swept doubles action to take a decisive 3-0 lead but Williams retaliated in singles action, claiming the No. 5, 4, 3 and 1 courts, respectively, to take a 4-3 advantage. However, a win from Sarah Monteagudo '16 from No. 6 singles tied the match before Gabby Devlin '14 prevailed in a tight battle against Linda Shin '17 from the No. 2 court, edging the first-year by scores of 6-7 (7-5), 6-3, 7-6 (9-7) to claim the match.

Tuesday's meeting marked the fourth between the NESCAC rivals this season. After falling to Williams, 6-3, in the opening dual match of the 2013-14 campaign during the fall, Amherst responded with three straight wins including a 5-1 decision in the NESCAC Championship. The Jeffs have evened the all-time series against the Ephs (3-3) in national postseason play and will face No. 1 Emory at 6 p.m. tomorrow, May 21 for a chance at the team's second national title and first since 1999. Amherst met Emory earlier this season and dropped an 8-1 match on Apr. 12. The two squads have faced each other deep in the NCAA tournament in each of the previous four seasons, with the Eagles holding a 3-1 lead.

In doubles action, Safi Aly '15 and Sarah Monteagudo '16 gave the Jeffs a 1-0 lead following an 8-4 win from the No. 3 court. The senior duo of Jen Newman and Zoe Pangalos then defeated Kathleen Elkins '14 and Maria Pylpiv '15, 8-3, from the No. 2 court before the two-time national doubles pairing of Jordan Brewer '14 and Gabby Devlin '14 completed the sweep with an 8-5 win from the No. 1 court to give Amherst a decisive 3-0 lead.

However, Williams would retaliate in singles play, claiming four straight courts to take a 4-3 lead. Rebecca Curran '15 won No. 5 singles by scores of 6-3, 6-0 for the Ephs' first point. Pylpiv cut the deficit to one by defeating Sue Ghosh '16 on the No. 4 court, edging the sophomore 7-5 in set one before claiming the match with a 6-1 win in the second frame. In No. 3 singles, Elkins claimed a point over Newman with wins of 6-2 and 6-4, respectively, to tie it at 3-3 before Kara Shoemaker '14 narrowly edged Brewer by taking the first set, 6-4, followed by a 7-6 win in set two.

Trailing by one with two singles matches remaining, Monteagudo pulled off an imperative win from the No. 6 court. After taking the first set in a tiebreak, 7-6 (7-5), the sophomore claimed a 6-4 victory in the second set to tie the match at 4-4.  Devlin was terrific in No. 2 singles with the match on the line. After falling to Shin in the first set, 6-7 (7-5), she claimed set two (6-3) to force a decisive third set. Devlin and Shin played to a tiebreaker, in which the Amherst senior triumphed with a 7-6 (9-7) win to clinch the match for the Jeffs.