GRANVILLE, Ohio -- In a rain delayed match that was eventually moved into the Mitchell Fieldhouse, a three-set victory at the fifth singles flight by Natalie Kelly lifted 29th-ranked Lewis & Clark College to a 5-4 victory over No. 30 Denison on Thursday.
Trailing 4-3 with two singles matches left to be decided, Big Red junior Carol Vitellas tied the match for the for the fourth time with a straight-set victory at No. 6 singles over Chloe Sermet. Vitellas won the flight by matching scores of 6-2.
While Vitellas was in the process of tying the match score, sophomore Charlotte Purnode was involved in an epic battle with Kelly at the fifth flight. Purnode took the early advantage with a 7-5 decision in the opening set. Kelly evened things up with a 6-2 victory that forced a third-and-decisive set. In the match-deciding set, Kelly earned a 6-1 decision to give the hard-fought win to the Pioneers.
Sophomores Lauren Hawley and Emma Alsup opened the match scoring by quickly dispatching Josie Legarza and Kacey Incerpi via an 8-3 score. Lewis & Clark went on to win the next two doubles flights to take a 2-1 advantage. Alsup evened the score at 2-2 with a three-set win over Legarza (6-3, 4-6, 6-0) at No. 2 single.
Denison fell behind by one once again after dropping a three-set decision at No. 4 singles. Hawley, who is ranked fourth in the central region, tied things up at 3-3 with a win over Wiktoria Plawska, the No. 12 singles player in the west region. The Big Red sophomore cruised to a 6-1 win in the opening set before suffering a 6-2 loss in the second. The final set was much closer as Hawley edged Plawska by way of a 7-5 score. The Pioneers regained the lead at 4-3 with a three-set win at third singles.
The loss drops the Big Red to 4-7, while Lewis & Clark improves to 9-3. Denison will be back in action on Saturday (April 1) when they host Allegheny at 2 p.m.