ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Lehigh’s women’s tennis season came to an end Friday with a heartbreaking 4-3 loss to Colgate in the Patriot League quarterfinals inside Navy’s Brigade Sports Complex. The teams split six singles matches but the No. 5 seed Raiders won the doubles point as they moved on to Saturday’s semifinals against top seed Army, while the fourth seeded Mountain Hawks see their season end at 6-13.
The Raiders (5-13) started things off by winning the doubles point with wins at the top two flights. Lehigh’s freshman duo of Kathleen Larkin and Jill Sloand led their match at No. 3 doubles, but Colgate got a win from Stephanie Bender and Jen Marquit over sophomore Abbey Perl and junior Liz Piscitelli 8-4 at No. 2 doubles, and then clinched the first point of the match as Stephanie Brown and Alex Petrini won 8-6 over freshman Taylor Hampshire and Jenai Bilimoria at No. 1 doubles.
Lehigh was led by its freshmen, as all three won their singles matches, while all three upperclassmen were unable to come away with wins.
Larkin put Lehigh on the board with a dominant 6-1, 6-2 win over Becky Silvers at sixth singles; her team-leading eighth win of the year. Colgate took a 2-1 lead when Kelsey Shea downed Piscitelli at No. 3 singles, but Hampshire topped Bender 6-3, 6-2 at first singles.
The back-and-forth continued as Brown beat sophomore Patricia Muething 7-6, 6-1 at No. 4 singles. In the first of two three-set matches, Bilimoria tied the match at three with a 6-2, 1-6, 6-2 win over Petrini at No. 2 singles.
The match came down to a third set at No. 5 singles between Perl and Marquit. The Raider won the first set 6-2, but Perl rallied to take the second 6-4. The third set went to Marquit 6-4 to send the Raiders into the semifinals as Colgate avenged an earlier 4-2 regular season loss to Lehigh.
With no seniors on its roster, Lehigh returns its entire team for the 2011-12 season.
Colgate 4, Lehigh 3
1. Brown/Petrini (CU) def. Hampshire/Bilimoria (LU) 8-6
2. Bender/Marquit (CU) def. Perl/Piscitelli (LU) 8-4
3. Larkin/Sloand (LU) vs. Shea/Silvers (CU) 6-5, DNF
Order of Finish: 2, 1
1. Taylor Hampshire (LU) def. Stephanie Bender (CU) 6-3, 6-2
2. Jenai Bilimoria (LU) def. Alex Petrini (CU) 6-2, 1-6, 6-2
3. Kelsey Shea (CU) def. Liz Piscitelli (LU) 6-2, 6-3
4. Stephanie Brown (CU) def. Patricia Muething (LU) 7-6, 6-1
5. Jen Marquit (CU) def. Abbey Perl (LU) 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
6. Kathleen Larkin (LU) def. Becky Silvers (CU) 6-1, 6-2
Order of Finish: 6, 3, 1, 4, 2, 5