The Clarion University Golden Eagles (4-5) proved too much for the Shepherd Rams women’s tennis team (3-10, 1-7 MEC) on Friday, March 16, as they beat the Rams in all nine matches (9-0) in the Hilton Head Tournament in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
The Rams also lost to the Illinois Wesleyan Titans (6-9) by a 5-4 score in the team’s second match of the day.
In the first singles match, junior Alivia Arnold of Clarion University defeated junior Zoie O’Neal of Shepehrd in two sets.
First Set: Arnold, 6-2
Second Set: Arnold, 6-2
Clarion’s Maria Snyder, a senior, would win the second match, beating Shepherd junior Alisha Adkins in two sets.
First Set: Snyder, 6-2
Second Set: Snyder, 6-1
The third singles match would favor junior Vinisha Reddy of Clarion as well, finishing off Shepherd junior Anna Bock in two sets.
First Set: Reddy, 6-2
Second Set: Reddy, 6-2
The fourth match would end in two sets as well, as sophomore Katie Benson of Clarion defeated Shepherd sophomore Zoe Nicewander handily. First Set: Benson, 6-1 Second Set: Benson, 1-0 (ret)
In the last singles match, Clarion junior Michelle Petrilla defeated Shepherd junior Nicolette Bruley in just two sets.
First Set: Petrilla, 6-3
Second Set: Petrilla, 6-3
Shepherd had no player for the sixth singles match, so the Rams forfeited the sixth match to Clarion freshman Hailey Germanoski.
Doubles would not be any different, as Arnold and Snyder won comfortably against O’Neal and Adkins of Shepherd (8-2)
Reddy and Benson of Clarion would also collect a victory over Shepherd, winning 8-3 over Bock and Nicewander.
Neither side had enough players for a third doubles match, forcing both sides to forfeit the match.
In the Rams’ later match against Illinois Wesleyan, O’Neal would give the Rams their first victory, defeating Illinois Wesleyan senior Gail Mar in three sets.
First Set: Even, 6-6
Second Set: O’Neal, 7-4
Third Set: O’Neal, 6-4
Sophomore Megan Hippe of Illinois Wesleyan would take singles match number two, defeating Adkins in two sets.
First Set: Hippe, 6-3
Second Set: Hippe, 6-3
Bock would swing her way to a victory in the third singles match, as she prevailed over Illinois Wesleyan junior Sam Robinson in two sets.
First Set: Bock, 6-3
Second Set: Bock, 6-0
The fourth singles match would also be in favor of Shepherd, as Nicewander would defeat Illinois Wesleyan freshman Rebecca Rochacz in three sets.
First Set: Rochacz, 6-2
Second Set: Nicewander, 6-4
Third Set: Nicewander 10-8
Sophomore Autumn See of Illinois Wesleyan would win the last singles match, beating Bruley in a hard-fought three set victory.
First Set: Bruley, 6-3
Second Set: See, 6-3
Third Set: See, 10-8
For the sixth singles match, Shepherd again did not have enough players, forcing them to forfeit to Illinois Wesleyan and junior Kayleigh Ruffolo.
In the first match of doubles competition, Illinois Wesleyan’s Hippe and Mar defeated O’Neal and Adkins of Shepherd by an 8-3 score.
The second match of doubles competition saw Bruley and Bock give the Rams their first doubles victory of the day, beating Ruffolo and Autumn See by an 8-3 score themselves.
Due to Shepherd not having enough girls, they had to forfeit the one singles match mentioned before and the third and final doubles match, giving Illinois Wesleyan the 5-4 edge in this one.
Shepherd will look to re-group and get a “W” under its belt when it travels back home to Shepherdstown, West Virginia, to host UVa-Wise on Sunday, March 25, at 11 a.m.
Justin Cole is a sports writer for The Picket. He can be reached at email@example.com