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In her final doubles match at the Cannon Tennis Courts, Bethany Poppe teamed with Chanelle Clare for a 9-8 win
In her final doubles match at the Cannon Tennis Courts, Bethany Poppe teamed with Chanelle Clare for a 9-8 win

Lady Indians tripped by Carson-Newman, 5-4, on Senior Day

Lady Eagles clinch SAC Regular Season Championship

Box Score

NEWBERRY, S.C. - For nearly four hours, the Lady Indians of Newberry College battled conference juggernaut Carson-Newman College inch for inch, but they could not pull off the upset in the end, falling 5-4. With the win, the Lady Eagles clinch the top seed in Tuesday's South Atlantic Conference Tournament Quarterfinal match, where a rematch with Newberry (2-11, 1-5 SAC) is possible.

Newberry's top-line doubles duos sent a buzz through the Cannon Tennis Courts crowd by taking the match's opening two points. Lauren Hartley (Beamsville, Ontario, Canada) and Autise Mortimer (Nassau, Bahamas) won, 8-5, over Amanda Bartlett and Taryn Cappadonna, while Chanelle Clare (Nassau, Bahamas) and Bethany Poppe (Califon, N.J.) stretched the NC lead to 2-0 with a compelling 9-8 (7-2) tiebreak win over Elizabeth Sneed and Cassie Moulton. The Lady Eagles earned their first tally with an 8-1 win from Emily Sorah and Stephanie Douglas over Kelly Cheesborough (Harlem, Ga.) and Danielle Beckerle (St. Louis, Mo.).

Like they did in pairs, Newberry's top two guns came out blazing at the start of singles competition. Hartley won her final match at Cannon, a 6-3, 6-2 pasting of Bartlett. Mortimer pushed the lead to 4-1 with an equally impressive 6-2, 6-2 win over Cappadonna.

That's when things unravelled for the Lady Indians. Sneed took a 6-3, 6-1 win over Clare in the third spot, and Sorah followed with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 win over Brittany Grooms (Sumter, S.C.). The Lady Eagles tied the match in No. 5 singles, where Moulton won a tight contest over Poppe, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. The clinching point came in the match's final duel, as Douglas dispatched Beckerle, 6-0, 6-2.

The loss was the final home match of the season for the Lady Indians, and the final contest at the Cannon Tennis Courts for five seniors: Hartley, Clare, Poppe, Grooms, and Beckerle.

"Our seniors have worked tremendously hard throughout their Newberry careers," assistant coach Jessica Carvalho said of the departing players. "Their dedication was an inspiration to their teammates, and their presence will be missed next season."

The Lady Indians close the regular season Saturday at Mars Hill. With a victory, the Lady Indians would earn the sixth seed in the SAC Tournament, while a loss would bring the eighth seed and a trip to Jefferson City, Tenn., to play Carson-Newman on Tuesday.

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