Roanoke, VA - The Hollins University tennis team entered the most important week of the 2017 season with a visit from Virginia Wesleyan on Saturday afternoon. The Marilns were the first of three Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) opponents over the next eight days. With the ODAC Tennis Championships looming, Hollins used a big rally to defeat Virginia Wesleyan, 5-4, and move up the conference standings.
The home team got off to a strong start by winning at #3 doubles, earning the advantage. Kateri Johnson and Casey Mahan got the afternoon started with an 8-3 win. However, the Marlins broke open a close contest at #2 to pull away late and tie the score at a match apiece, 8-5. Jhovanna Salmeron and Htet Myat San found themselves trailing for a majority of the match at#1 but won consecutive games to finish a comeback win, 9-7, and give Hollins the edge, 2-1.
In singles play, San and Johnson earned straight sets wins but the visitors from the beach won at #1 and #2. Amelia Verkerk and Kellen Phillips were engaged in a duel at #3 with Phillips coming back to take the first set in a tie breaker. Verkerk appeared ready to force a third set with a 5-4 lead but Phillips once again came back to take the set, 7-5, and tie the overall score at 4-4.
With the match on the line and after dropping the first set, 3-6, Sarah Jordan Snoddy stormed back to take the second frame, 6-2, and force a third set for the match. Her opponent raced out to a 3-1 advantage and had Snoddy down 40-15. From that moment on, the first-year won point after point and completed the comeback with a 6-3 win, giving Hollins the 5-4 victory.
Hollins will have her annual showdown with their arch rivals from Sweet Briar on Wednesday afternoon. The all important ODAC match with the Vixens is scheduled to start at 4:00pm at the Batten Tennis Center.