Roanoke, VA - The Hollins tennis team played the first of back-to-back Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) matches to close the regular season. Hollins came into Saturday in a tie with Shenadoah, with the winner of today's match inching closer to the number eight spot in the conference standings.
The match got off to a great start for the Green and Gold. Olivia Dannon and Kateri Johnson stormed out to a big advantage and took the #3 doubles match, 8-2. At the top spot, Kate Woodruff and Valerie Sargeant were down 6-5 and each of the next two games went deep into deuce before the Hornets tied the match at 1-1 with an 8-5 win. The pivotal #2 doubles match was close before a late surge by Amelia Verkerk and Sarah Jordan Snoddy gave Hollins the 2-1 advantage with an 8-5 victory.
All six singles matches came down to a point or two either way to determine the winner. The first to finish was at the #5 spot where Dannon saw a big early lead disappear but survived the first set, 7-5, before seizing control and sweeping the second frame. Just moments later, Shenandoah would close to within 3-2 as Alyssa White staved off a comeback from Woodruff to seal the win at the #1 spot with a 6-4, second set, victory. Sargeant would cruise in the first frame but Liz Pardo didn't make it easy forcing the second set to go past the normal six games before falling, 7-5. With Hollins needing just one more point to seal the ODAC win, Snoddy rebounded from a 3-6 first to turn the tables, 6-3, and force a third set tie-breaker. Seconds before the #4 match would start it's third set, Verkerk won a close, 6-4 and 6-4, match at #2 singles and give Hollins the win. Snoddy would complete the win at #4 with a 10-4 tie-breaking win. The final match of the afternoon would see Johnson roll to a 6-2 opening set win. However, Melodie Madison would fight back and take a 5-4 lead into the final games of set number two. Johnson would win a pair and look to have the match in hand but another comeback would knot the match at 6-6. Johnson took command early, racing out to a 5-0 advantage, in the tie-breaker. Johnson closed out her opponent and Hollins picked up the 7-2 ODAC win and moved into ninth in the conference standings with one match remaining.
Hollins will close out the regular season tomorrow needing a victory to force an eighth place tie with Sweet Briar in the ODAC standings. Randolph-Macon, currently second in the league, will visit Roanoke for a 1:00pm start to the regular season finale.