October 25, 2014
GROVE CITY WINS CONFERENCE TITLE!
ERIE, Pa. -- The Grove City College women's tennis team captured its 27th all-time Presidents' Athletic Conference title Saturday by accumulating 52 team points at the Presidents' Athletic Conference Championships, held at the Pennbriar Club. The Wolverines won titles in five of the nine championship flights and edged pre-tournament favorite Westminster by one point in the team standings.
As conference champion, Grove City receives an automatic berth in the 2015 NCAA Division III Championship Tournament, which will be held in May.
Senior Caroline McGuire (Shorewood, Wis./Dominican) earned the conference's Player of the Year award after winning the league title at No. 1 singles. Head coach Jeff Buxton earned the league's Coach of the Year award.
The top-seeded McGuire dropped just four total games in rolling to the title at first singles. She opened the tournament with a 6-0, 6-0 over Bethany's Allison Snyder in the quarterfinals. McGuire then earned a 6-2, 6-1 decision over Washington & Jefferson's Courtney Brennan in the semifinals. McGuire clinched the title with a 6-1, 6-0 finals victory over Saint Vincent's Jackii Hauser, the No. 3 seed.
Sophomore Linnea Peters (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) secured three straight-sets wins to prevail in the No. 4 singles draw. Peters entered the tournament as the second seed and began her path to the championship with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Saint Vincent's Breana Liberoni. In the semifinals, Peters picked up a 7-5, 6-2 win over Geneva's Megan Hinds.
Peters then toppled top-seeded Lauren Fling of Westminster in the championship match, 6-1 and 6-3.
At sixth singles, junior Leah Thomsen (Cary, N.C./Cary Christian) did not drop a set on her way to the conference title. The top-seeded Thomsen downed Nicole Carlton of Thiel in the quarterfinals, 6-0, 6-1. In the semifinals, Thomsen outlasted Westminster's Maria Pallone by a 7-5, 6-2 score. Thomsen concluded her championship run by claiming a 6-0, 6-2 win over Saint Vincent's Hannah Kahn in the finals.
Grove City also won titles in two of the three doubles flights. At first doubles, McGuire and junior Karolina Lagerquist (Pittsburgh, Pa./Fox Chapel) downed Westminster's Mariah Turiano and Gabby Eaborn in the finals, 8-3. The McGuire-Lagerquist combo advanced to the finals by holding off Hauser and Susie Ellis in the semifinals, 8-6. The Grove City duo opened the draw with an 8-2 win over Thiel's Shay Kashey-Lauren Mittner.
Thomsen teamed with freshman Janine Jones (Cleveland, Ohio/Nordonia) for the conference title at third doubles. The Thomsen-Jones team downed the Thomas More combination of Petrina Strickley and Paige Thoerner in the opening match, 8-1.
The Grove City tandem secured an 8-4 semifinal win over Liberoni and Maria Gismondi. In the finals, Thomsen and Jones upset Westminster's top-seeded duo of Pallone and Christina Vucenovic, 8-3.
Lagerquist earned runner-up at second singles after falling to Turiano in the finals, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1. Jones fell in the semifinals at third singles but rebounded to earn a pivotal team point by winning the third-place match over Geneva's Samantha Jensen, 6-2, 6-4. Senior Leah White (Ellicott City, Md./Howard) also took third at fifth singles b topping W&J's Brianna Morrison in the consolation match, 6-4 and 6-1.
Peters and senior Kendra Tetrick (Beaver, Pa./Beaver) teamed for a third-place finish at second doubles. The Peters-Tetrick team earned an 8-5 win over Geneva's Sara Stoll and Hinds in the consolation match.
Westminster won the conference title in 2013 and shared the conference crown with Saint Vincent in 2012. Grove City won the conference titles in each of the previous 25 seasons. Grove City won the first Presidents' Athletic Conference title in 1985, the first year that the league sponsored women's sports.
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