SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. - Junior Ching-Ching Huang earned a tiebreaking victory to lift Mount Holyoke College to a 5-4 victory over the College of the Holy Cross in non-conference tennis action on Thursday evening. With the win, the Lyons move to 2-0 in dual meet action, while the Division I Crusaders are now 3-3 on the season.
The Lyons put forth a powerful doubles effort to open with a 2-1 margin. MHC's first doubles pair of Huang (Lukang Township, Taiwan/Taipei Municipal First Girls' HS) and senior Ayame Yazawa (Tokyo, Japan/St. Johnsbury Academy (VT) cruised to an 8-0 win over seniors Allison Reiling (Mendham, N.J./Morristown-Beard) and Caroline Kam (Stonington, Conn./St. George's) for the 1-0 lead.
Holy Cross pulled the score even from third doubles as senior Jennifer Kary (Scarsdale, N.Y./School of the Holy Child) and first year Maddie DeNucci (Glastonbury, Conn./Glastonbury) edged out Lyons' senior Joy Maran (Santa Fe, N.M./Santa Fe Prep) and rookie Annissa Aamoum (Dulles, Va./IMG Academy), 9-7, but Mount Holyoke battled back at two with junior Catherine Peabody (San Francisco, Calif./Lick-Wilmerding) and sophomore Anya Gerasimova (Salem, Ore./West Salem) earned a 9-7 win over first year Sophia Papa (Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville) and senior Morgan McGuire (Franklin Lakes, N.J./Indian Hills).
Singles action opened with Holy Cross pulling the match even as Kary earned a 6-2, 6-0 win over Lyons' senior Madison Rosen (Portland, Ore./Grant) from five. Gerasimova then made it a 3-2 advantage for the home team, posting a 6-0, 6-2 win over McGuire from four. The Lyons opened a 4-2 advantage after a victory by Yazawa over Reiling at one by a 6-0, 6-4 margin, but Holy Cross rebounded with a pair of critical wins as Kam notched a 6-1, 6-1 win over Aamoum from six, while DeNucci bested Peabody, 6-2, 6-2 at three.
With the match tied at 4-all, it all came down to second singles between Huang and Crusaders' Papa, who went up early with a 7-5 win. Huang bounced back in the second set, earning a 6-2 win to force the tiebreaker. Following a 10-point match tiebreaker, Huang came out victorious (5-7, 6-2 (10-6)) for MHC's first win over Holy Cross in the series history. Prior to Thursday's win, the Crusaders had owned a 5-0 lead, dating back to the first-ever meeting in 1981-82.
Mount Holyoke is now idle until October 12 when it co-hosts the 2018 NEWITT Tournament. Action runs Friday through Sunday. Holy Cross is back on the court on Sunday when it hosts a tournament against Connecticut beginning at 9am.