SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Junior Isabelle Garvanne won a tough battle at five to give fifth-seeded Wheaton College a 5-3 victory over fourth-seeded Mount Holyoke College in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Women's Tennis Tournament quarterfinal round on Saturday afternoon at the Kendall Indoor Tennis Courts.
Wheaton (7-9) will take on No. 1 MIT (14-3) in the Semifinal round of the NEWMAC Tournament on Tuesday, April 30 at 3:30 p.m. on the campus of MIT. It marks Wheaton's second straight appearance in the NEWMAC Tournament Semifinal after a close 5-4 victory over MHC last spring. Mount Holyoke's season comes to a close at 11-10 overall.
Doubles play got things going in the match as the Wheaton duo of junior Harley Swainston (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) and senior Connor O'Keefe (Lutz, Fla./George M Steinbrenner) grabbed the opening point with an 8-4 win over MHC senior Joy Maran (Santa Fe, N.M./Santa Fe Prep) and first year Hannah Middleton (Stonington, Conn./Stonington) at three. The visiting Lyons' made it a 2-0 advantage as first year Miriam Galindo Cerrada (Madrid, Spain/Assuncion Vallecas) and sophomore Allison Burton (Hingham, Mass./Hingham) posted an 8-4 win over Mount Holyoke junior Catherine Peabody (San Francisco, Calif./Lick-Wilmerding) and first year Annissa Aamoum (Dulles, Va./IMG Academy) at two.
Wrapping up doubles play was the first pairing of senior Ines de Bracamonte (Sunny Isles Beach, Fla./Pine Crest) and Garvanne (Los Angeles, Calif./Chadwick) as they made it a 3-0 Wheaton edge with an 8-5 win against senior Ayame Yazawa (Tokyo, Japan/St. Johnsbury Academy) and junior Ching-Ching Huang (Lukang Township, Taiwan/Taipei Municipal First Girls' HS).
In singles action with a 3-0 deficit, Mount Holyoke turned the heat on as Aamoum got the home team on the board with a 6-0, 6-1 win against Burton at five. MHC cut the edge to 3-2 at four as sophomore Anya Gerasimova (Salem, Ore./West Salem) bested O'Keefe by a 6-0, 6-2 score. Peabody then tied the match at 3-all with a 6-2, 6-0 decision against Galindo Cerrada from three.
With three matches left on court, tensions began to rise for the right to move on as the one's, two's and sixes all continued on. Wheaton broke the stalemate at one as de Bracamonte powered her way to a 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 win against Yazawa, moving the score to 4-3. Tight battles continued in two and six, but it was the former match that sealed the win as Garvanne bested Huang by a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 margin to end it. Despite the match finishing at decision, it is noted that the sixes played extremely hard also as Middleton and Swainston were locked up in the second game. Their match went unfinished with Swainston holding a 7-6 (10-8), 5-5 edge.