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Lauren Hartley moved to 5-4 in singles competition with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Zoe Hartas
Lauren Hartley moved to 5-4 in singles competition with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Zoe Hartas

Lady Indians battle Bulldogs, but fall 5-4

Loss is second 5-4 decision for Newberry in SAC play

Box Score

WINGATE, N.C. - Newberry College was on the brink of its first South Atlantic Conference win of the season Thursday, but could not hold on, falling 5-4 to Wingate in women's tennis action. The loss drops Newberry to 1-8 (0-2 SAC), while Wingate improved to 7-10, evening its SAC record at 2-2.

The Lady Indians started the day by reshuffling their doubles combinations, a move that almost paid big dividends.

Playing together for the first time all season, Autise Mortimer (Nassau, Bahamas) and Lauren Hartley (Beamsville, Ontario, Canada) were unstoppable, drilling Hollyn Alberghini and Kara Stasikelis, 8-2.

Another first-time pairing almost did the trick for Newberry in the second flight, but Chanelle Clare (Nassau, Bahamas) and Bethany Poppe (Califon, N.J.) lost a close one to Shawn Kindley and Pierce Dillard, 9-7. The defeat would loom large for Newberry in the match's final stages.

Wingate ended the doubles action with a 8-4 win by Zoe Hartas and Ashley Keefer over Brittany Grooms (Sumter, S.C.) and Danielle Beckerle (St. Louis, Mo.). The match gave the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead heading to singles play.

Wingate stretched that lead to a deuce when Stasikelis edged Mortimer, 7-6, 6-4. But Newberry would wrestle control back by winning the next three points.

Hartley got Newberry back in the win column, dominating Hartas, 6-1, 6-1. Clare followed with a hard-fought 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 comeback victory over Alberghini, and Poppe gave NC the lead with a 7-5, 7-6 takedown of Dillard.

The Lady Indians were unable to score the clinching point, however, as Wingate claimed the final two points. Kindley grabbed a three-set win over Grooms, 7-5, 2-6, 7-5, and Keefer clinched the win by besting Beckerle for the second time, this time a 6-0, 6-1 singles win.

Newberry has 15 days to recover from its second one-point SAC loss. The Lady Indians don't take the court again until April 5, when they face Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory, N.C.

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