INDIANAPOLIS - The 21st-ranked Marian University women's tennis team fell to the 25th-ranked University of Northwestern Ohio in a dramatic 5-4 decision in the opening match of the 2014 Knight Classic at West Indy Racquet Club in Indianapolis on Friday afternoon.
The Knights fell to 15-7 overall, while UNOH improved to 10-7 in a showdown between two NAIA top 25-ranked teams.
The match was going to be competitive throughout, and the doubles competition started things off well. After senior Olivia Pursell
and sophomore Hannah Elliott
fell 3-8 at No. 2 doubles, the team of junior Sarah Potter
and freshman Anna Potter
took their opponents to a tiebreaker only to fall 7-8 (3-7) to give the Racers a 2-0 lead. However, the team of senior Brittney Horlacher
and junior Hannah Knust
earned a strong 8-6 win at No. 1 doubles to cut it to 2-1 heading into singles play.Sarah Potter
could not overcome her opponent at No. 3 singles in a 6-3, 6-4 defeat to put UNOH up 3-1, but Knust answered with her 17th win of the season in a 6-2, 6-4 win at No. 2 singles to make it 3-2. Freshman Grace Neathery
earned her 12th victory of her rookie campaign with a 6-4, 6-3 win at No. 6 singles to tie the score at 3-3. Pursell fought back in her match at No. 4 singles only to fall in a second-set tiebreaker, 5-7, 6-7 (6-8). The win gave UNOH a 4-3 lead with two matches remaining on the court.Anna Potter
had to come from behind in her match at No. 5 singles after she dropped the first set, 2-6. She recovered, took the second set in a shootout, 7-5, before earning a dominant 6-1 win in the third to bring the Knights even at 4-4 with one match left and it was in a third set.
After earning a quick 6-3 win in the first set at No. 1 singles, Horlacher led in the second set only to see it slip in a tiebreaker 6-7 (4-7) to knot the match and send it to a decisive third set. After UNOH's Andrea Arango jumped out to a 5-2 lead, Horlacher won two straight and cut it to 5-4. However, she could not complete the comeback in a 4-6 defeat to give UNOH the 5-4 win.
It marked the fourth time MU had been in a 5-4 decision this season and MU has a 1-3 mark in such matches.
The Knights will play host to No. 2-ranked Lindsey Wilson College (6-4) on Saturday afternoon at the MU Tennis Courts. First serve is slated for 3 p.m.