October 20, 2007

Grove City earns 21st consecutive PAC crown

ERIE, Pa. -- The Grove City College women's tennis team earned its 21st straight Presidents' Athletic Conference title Saturday afternoon, accumulating 50 points in the two-day PAC Championships at the Pennrbriar Club.

Junior Tamara Nations (Kailua, Hawaii/Homeschooled) earned the conference's Player of the Year award after winning the PAC title at first singles. Nations defeated top-seeded April Scudere of Westminster in Saturday's finals, 6-4, 6-2.

Grove City won four of the six singles titles and all three doubles crowns on its way to the league title. Nations teamed with senior Erin Bennett (Poland, Ohio/Poland) to win the first doubles crown. Nations and Bennett defeated the Waynesburg combo of Laura Garcia and Blakeley Mall in the finals, 8-1.

The Nations-Bennett team opened play Friday with an 8-0 win in the quarterfinals over Thomas More's Monica Pharo-Alma Murga. In the semifinals, Nations and Bennett defeated Westminster's Christina Commisso and Dana Larson, 8-2.

At second doubles, sophomore Kait Garcia (Erie, Pa./McDowell) and Chris Sager (Newtown, Pa./Council Rock North) won the conference title with an 8-3 victory over Scudere and Westminster teammate Hilary Newman. The Sager-Garcia tandem opened the tournament as the No. 3 seed and earned an 8-0 win in the quarterfinals over Chatham's Sowmya Narayanan and Megan Padula. In the semifinals, Garcia and Sager defeated the Waynesburg team of Jessica Mally and Allie Horochak, 8-3.

Grove City's third doubles team of senior Julie Bellissimo (North Canton, Ohio/Hoover) and sophomore Kristin Taylor (Westerville, Ohio/Worthington Christian) won the PAC title by earning an 8-2 victory in the finals over Westminster's Trista Houck and Anna Will. Bellissimo and Taylor opened the tournament as the second seed and earned an 8-0 quarterfinal-round victory over Chatham's Rebecca Minges and Garber.

In the semifinals, Taylor and Bellissimo picked up an 8-1 victory over Waynesburg's Evelyn Fabian and Britni Green.

In singles play, Bennett won the fourth singles title with a 6-2, 6-0 triumph over Mally. Bennett upset top-seeded Commisso in the semifinals, 6-3, 6-0 after earning a 6-0, 6-0 quarterfinal win over Bethany's Sarah Goho.

At fifth singles, Taylor pulled out a 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 win over Westminster's Rachel Jack in the finals. Taylor reached the finals with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over W&J's Samantha Knapek. Taylor's run to the title began in the quarterfinals with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Waynesburg's Dana Davis.

Sager won the conference title at No. 6 singles by downing Fabian in the finals, 7-5, 6-2. Sager toppled No. 1 seed Natalie Hruska of Westminster in the semis, 6-0, 6-2. In the quarterfinals, Sager defeated W&J's Sarah Charley, 6-1, 6-0.

Nations also won three matches on her way to a singles title. She topped Murga in the quarterfinals, 6-1, 6-0, before defeated Chatham's Barbara Petty in the semifinal round, 6-1, 6-2.

Kait Garcia earned runner-up at second singles after falling to Mall in the finals, 6-4, 6-0. Garcia defeated Larson in the semifinals, 6-2, 6-4. She dropped just one game in a quarterfinal victory over W&J's Leah Fleegle.

Sophomore Lisa Baldwin (Charlotte, N.C./Covenant Day) took second at third singles. Baldwin fell to Newman in the finals, 6-2, 1-6, 6-4. Baldwin reached the finals with a walkover win over W&J's Kerri DiGiovanni. Baldwin opened the tournament with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Thomas More's Lindsey Burns.

Westminster's Scott Renninger earned PAC Coach of the Year for the second straight year. Westminster placed second with 33 team points, followed by Waynesburg (29), W&J (11), Chatham (10), Bethany (2) and Thomas More (0).


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