October 23, 2010

Wolverines win 24th straight title

ERIE, Pa. -- The Grove City College women's tennis team earned its 24th consecutive Presidents' Athletic Conference title Saturday at the Pennbriar Athletic Club. The Wolverines won conference titles in seven of nine flights and finished the two-day event with 50 team points. Westminster finished second with 34 points and Saint Vincent placed third with 31.

Head coach Joe Walters earned the conference's Coach of the Year award after guiding the Wolverines to a 13-2 overall record and an 8-0 conference mark this fall.

Grove City swept all three doubles flights at this year's Championships. At first doubles, juniors Megan Bennett (Poland, Ohio/Poland) and Stacy Moon (Lima, Ohio/Shawnee) won the league crown with an 8-4 win over the Westminster team of Alex Bailey and Caitlin Hosler.

The Bennett-Moon team reached the finals by picking up an 8-3 win over Thomas More's Lauren Race and Emily Wesselman. Bennett and Moon opened the tournament with an 8-0 quarterfinal victory over Washington & Jefferson's Kathryn Mioduszewski and Alyssa Tousignant.

Seniors Kimberly Peterson (New Castle, Pa./Neshannock) and Natalie Walten (Stewartstown, Pa./Kennard-Dale) downed the Saint Vincent team of Amanda Gans and Kaitlin Wolz in the second doubles finals, 8-2. Peterson and Walten advanced to the championship round by picking up an 8-5 semifinal victory over Chatham's Alexa Coughenour and Paige Dunlap.

The Peterson-Walten tandem began the tournament with an 8-3 win over W&J's Carrie Campbell and Elisabeth Kress in the quarterfinals.

Senior Elissa Beale (Baltimore, Md./Baltimore Lutheran) and junior Reena Barnett (El Paso, Texas/Homeschooled) completed the doubles seep by downing Westminster's Jane Larsen and Lauren Latinovich in the No. 3 doubles finals 8-4. Barnett and Beale picked up an 8-2 semifinal victory over the Waynesburg team of Jenny McAndrews and Logan McDonald after blanking Bethany's Bridgette Fauth and Liz Kletzli in the first round.

Bennett won the conference title at third singles by securing a 6-3, 6-0 win over Westminster's Becky Tobias in the finals. Bennett bounced Bethany's Brittany Seeman in the quarterfinals 6-0, 6-0 and then picked up a 6-3, 6-0 decision over Wesselman in the semifinals.

Peterson prevailed at No. 4 singles, earning a 6-2, 6-3 win over Saint Vincent's Emily Morris in the finals. Peterson opened the draw with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over W&J's Rachel Detts. Peterson then chalked up a 6-1, 6-0 semifinal-round win over Chatham's Alisa Boslett.

At fifth singles, freshman Katie Brown (Harrisburg, Pa./Homeschooled) captured the title with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Saint Vincent's Nicole Peer. Brown swept Bethany's Tiffany Simpson in the quarterfinals 6-0, 6-0 and then recorded a 6-1, 6-1 semifinal win over Chatham's Leisha Durstine.

Junior Christina Bedi (Chesapeake, Va./Oscar F. Smith) dropped just four games in winning the sixth singles title. She downed W&J's Valerie Mahoney in the quarterfinals 6-0, 6-0 and then blanked Dunlap in the semifinals by an identical score. Bedi secured the conference title with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Westminster's Dana Griesmer.

Moon earned runner-up honors at second singles by dropping a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 decision to Hosler in the finals. Moon, the No. 2 seed in the draw, opened the tournament with a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Bethany's Sarah Wood. Moon then topped Coughenour in the semifinals, 6-2, 6-2.

Walten also earned runner-up distinction at first singles. She opened the tournament with a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Waynesburg's Rebekah Reyes. In the semifinals, Walten pulled out a 6-0, 4-6, 6-2 win over Chatham's Barb Petty. Illness forced Walten to default in the finals against Saint Vincent's Alexis Cup.

As conference champion, Grove City will qualify for the 2011 NCAA Division III Championship Tournament next May. The Wolverines will be making their third consecutive trip to the national tournament.


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