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Lady Indians advance to SAC Tournament Semifinal with 5-1 upset of Catawba

Sixth-seeded Newberry will face either Tusculum or Lenoir-Rhyne

Box Score

SALISBURY, N.C. - The sixth-seeded Lady Indians of Newberry College landed the biggest upset of the 2008 SAC Women's Tennis Tournament Monday afternoon, eliminating third-seeded Catawba College, 5-1, at the Johnson Tennis Center. Newberry (4-11) will face either No. 2 seed Tusculum or No. 7 seed Lenoir-Rhyne on Friday in Rock Hill, S.C.

The Lady Indians opened their upset march by taking the first two doubles points. Autise Mortimer (Nassau, Bahamas) and Lauren Hartley (Beamsville, Ontario, Canada) doubled up KT Redabow and Nikiah Knox, 8-4, in the top flight match. Bethany Poppe (Califon, N.J.) and Chanelle Clare (Nassau, Bahamas) followed with an 8-3 triumph over Meri Cartmill and Julia McKinzie. Catawba's only point came in the third flight, where Jennifer Dameron and Vanessa Silva took an 8-3 decision over Kelly Cheesborough (Harlem, Ga.) and Danielle Beckerle (St. Louis, Mo.).

The Scarlet & Gray got back on the board in No. 1 singles, where Hartley dismantled McKinzie, 6-2, 6-0. The next match to finish was No. 3 singles, with Clare dusting off Cartmill, 6-1, 6-2. Needing just one point for the victory, Newberry got the clinching point from Poppe, who beat Knox, 6-2, 6-1, to send the Lady Indians into a frenzied celebration. All matches in progress were halted after Newberry clinched the victory.

Several rain delays slowed match progress considerably but did not dampen Juan Pablo Favero's team's confidence.

"We showed a lot of mental strength to stay focused through the weather delays," Favero said after the match. "I was impressed with the way our girls kept their eye on the task at hand."

Not only does the win send Newberry to the SAC Tournament Semifinals, it also avenges a 5-4 loss Favero's squad suffered to Catawba just five days ago, one of five single-point losses Newberry suffered in the SAC regular season.

"I am very proud of the way our girls continued to battle through a tough season," the victorious coach raved. "Our girls continued to play hard despite a number of tough losses. That's a tribute to their work ethic and their refusal to quit. I'm excited about the possibilities in front of this team."

Friday's match will start at 9 a.m. 

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