SPRINGFIELD, Mass.—The third-seeded Babson College women's tennis team took a 2-1 lead after doubles and then recorded three quick victories in singles on its way to defeating sixth-seeded Springfield College, 5-1, in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament quarterfinal match on Wednesday afternoon at the Springfield Field House.
With the victory, Babson (12-3) advances to the league semifinals for the fifth consecutive season, while Springfield sees its season come to a close at 5-7.
The Beavers jumped in front with two easy doubles wins, as senior Alex Freeman (Medfield, Mass.) and first-year Yagmur Akgul (Istanbul, Turkey) cruised to an 8-0 triumph at number one, while senior Alexis Ferraro (Coral Gables, Fla.) and junior Tori Paolino (East Orleans, Mass.) matched them with an 8-0 victory at number three. The Pride got on the board in the final match, as juniors Ariana Shemms (Goshen, Conn.) and Melanie Thulin (Manchester Center, Vt.) topped Babson first-years Kylie Kam (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Jenny Quenard (St.-Legier, Switzerland), 8-3, at number two.
The Green and White responded with a dominating effort in singles play, dropping just three games to close out the win. Akgul defeated Springfield sophomore Rachel London (Port Jefferson, N.Y.), 6-1, 6-0, at number one, while Freeman followed with a 6-0, 6-2 triumph at number two over sophomore Stephanie Foster (Woodbridge, Conn.). Quenard then secured the final point for the Beavers, breezing past first-year Rachel Litchfield (Northbridge, Mass.), 6-0, 6-0.
Babson will host second-seeded Wellesley College (8-2) in the second of two NEWMAC Tournament semifinals at Farwell Courts on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Top-seeded MIT (9-0) will take on either fourth-seeded Wheaton (6-5) or fifth-seeded Mount Holyoke College (6-5) in the first semifinal at 11 a.m.
MATCH NOTES: The Beavers are now 2-0 all-time against Springfield in NEWMAC Tournament history with both wins coming in the quarterfinals…Babson is 6-3 all-time in the quarterfinal round going back to 1999…the Beavers' 12 wins in the fall portion of their schedule are the most since 2003…with two wins on Wednesday, Freeman now has 95 career victories, good for the fifth most by any Babson player since 1994…Akgul's 19 singles wins are the second most by any Babson player going back to 1994…the 17 victories by Akgul and Freeman in doubles are tied for the third most since 1994.