LEBANON, Tenn. – Cumberland won a pair of doubles outings and two singles victories but 14th-ranked Lindsey Wilson posted a pair of three-set singles wins in the final two matches on the court, outlasting the 21st-ranked Phoenix, 5-4, in a five-hour marathon Friday in the semifinals of the Mid-South Conference Women’s Tennis Championships in Owensboro, Ky.
The Phoenix (11-7) missed a pair of opportunities to either take command or finish the match, leading 7-5 at No. 3 doubles before losing in a tiebreaker. Freshman Jessica Hernandez was in front, 5-3, in the third set at No. 2 but lost the final four games to the Blue Raiders (9-5).
Cumberland won the first two completed doubles outings, with Marianela Landi and Ana María Collazos registering an 8-3 victory at No. 2 versus Lucia Mora and Steffi McDonald. Seventh-ranked Ainhoa Garijo Garrido and Hernandez defeated 18th-ranked Alexandra Parra and Lina Sachica at No. 1.
CU’s Stefanie Navaratnam and Kylie Humphrey took the 7-5 advantage at No. 3 but lost 7-4 in a tiebreaker to Gabriella Pedroza and Carla Alibert.
The singles went back-and-forth, with McDonald collecting a 6-2, 6-2, decision over Ksenija Dmitrovic at No. 4 to even the match at two.
Humphrey put the Phoenix ahead with a 6-1, 6-0, victory at No. 5 against Alibert, but Pedroza came right back with a 6-1, 6-1, win at No. 6 versus Collazos, tying the match at three.
Eleventh-ranked Garijo Garrido posted a 6-4, 6-3, triumph at No. 1 over 25th-ranked Parra for a 4-3 CU edge and 27th-ranked Hernandez won the first set before dropping a 7-5 second-set tiebreaker against No. 33 Sachica at No. 2. The Phoenix freshman led 5-3 in the third set but lost 7-5 in the final set, evening the match once again.
That left everything to No. 3, with Mora and Landi splitting sets before the LWC sophomore pulled away for a 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, victory and the deciding point. Lindsey Wilson defeated the Phoenix, 7-2, in Lebanon, just five days ago, but Cumberland nearly pulled off the upset to reach the conference championship match.
#14 Lindsey Wilson 5, #21 Cumberland University 4
1. #11 Ainhoa Garijo Garrido (CU) def. #25 Alexandra Parra (LWC), 6-4, 6-3
2. #33 Lina Sachica (LWC) def. #27 Jessica Hernandez (CU), 1-6, 7-6 (5), 7-5
3. Lucia Mora (LWC) def. Marianela Landi (CU), 7-5, 4-6, 6-3
4. Steffi McDonald (LWC) def. Ksenija Dmitrovic (CU), 6-2, 6-2
5. Kylie Humphrey (CU) def. Carla Alibert (LWC), 6-1, 6-0
6. Gabriella Pedroza (LWC) def. Ana María Collazos (CU), 6-1, 6-1
1. #7 Garijo Garrido-Hernandez (CU) def. #18 Parra-Sachica (LWC), 8-4
2. Landi-Collazos (CU) def. Mora-McDonald (LWC), 8-3
3. Pedroza-Alibert (LWC) def. Stefanie Navaratnam-Humphrey (CU), 9-8 (4)
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (4,5,6,1,2,3)