BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh women’s tennis team saw its season come to an end on Friday as the Mountain Hawks fell to Bucknell 4-0 in the opening round of the Patriot League tournament on the Ulrich Varsity Courts. The fifth-seeded Bison won two tight doubles matches and captured three singles matches in straight sets to move into Saturday’s semifinals against No. 1 seed Navy.
The Mountain Hawks battled hard in doubles, but came up short in the matches at the No. 3 and No. 1 flights. At No. 3 doubles, Bucknell’s Dumitrita Iepuras and Elizabeth Morgan won 8-4 over freshmen Gabby Drucker and Emily Bruch. The Bison clinched the first point of the match as their top team of Elena Vidrascu and Daria Tuzhikova won 8-6 over sophomore Jenai Bilimoria and freshman Abby Farrell. The match at No. 2 doubles was tied as six when the doubles point was clinched.
Bucknell extended its lead in singles as Tuzhikova won 6-2, 6-1 over Drucker at the No. 4 flight. Lydia Colvin won 6-0, 6-4 over sophomore Kathleen Larkin at No. 3 singles to put the Bison up 3-0 and Bucknell clinched the win at No. 5 singles as Courtney Casey beat Bruch 6-3, 6-0. Lehigh was leading at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, while sophomore Jill Sloand was headed to a third set at No. 6 singles.
“We were without Taylor Hampshire and Liz Piscitelli but the rest of our girls really stepped it up over the last few weeks,” said Lehigh head coach Dave Shook. “It hurts to lose key players, but when you have people who are dying to get into the lineup and they get in there and fight their hearts out. I love seeing that. I’m very proud of our team. We have improved so much since February because we continued to work hard and got better every practice and every match.”
Lehigh’s season comes to an end at 5-14. The Mountain Hawks played their final two matches without injured senior Liz Piscitelli, but return virtually their entire team for the 2012-13 season.
Bucknell 4, Lehigh 0
1. Vidrascu/Tuzhikova (BU) def. Bilimoria/Farrell (LU) 8-6
2. Colvin/Schneider (BU) vs. Larkin/Sloand (LU) 6-6, DNF
3. Iepuras/Morgan (BU) def. Drucker/Bruch (LU) 8-4
Order of finish: 3, 1
1. Jenai Bilimoria (LU) vs. Dumitrita Iepuras (BU) 7-5, 1-0, DNF
2. Abby Farrell (LU) vs. Elena Vidrascu (BU) 6-2, 4-2, DNF
3. Lydia Colvin (BU) def. Kathleen Larkin (LU) 6-0, 6-4
4. Daria Tuzhikova (BU) def. Gabby Drucker (LU) 6-2, 6-1
5. Courtney Casey (BU) def. Emily Bruch (LU) 6-3, 6-0
6. Jill Sloand (LU) vs. Christie Schneider (BU) 6-2, 2-6, DNF
Order of finish: 4, 3, 5