MIDDLEBURY, Vt.—Wesleyan's fourth-ranked women's tennis team qualified for the NESCAC Championship match for the first time in program history on Saturday, topping No. 7 Bowdoin 5-1 in the semifinals. Much like their previous match with Bowdoin on March 30, Wesleyan received key contributions from the top of its lineup, though this time around, the Cardinals were in a position to win every singles spot when the match was clinched.
- Victoria and Kristina Yu, ranked No. 4 in the Northeast, put together one of their best performances of the spring, looking in-sync and playing a very clean match in an 8-2 win.
- The ninth-ranked duo of Polina Kiseleva and Venia Yeung continued to play the type of tennis that has brought them success all season at #2. Their combination of powerful groundstrokes and aggressive movement at net led them to an 8-2 victory.
- At #3, Alissa Nakamoto and Alexis Almy were back and forth for the entire match, but in the end Bowdoin pulled ahead for an 8-6 win.
- Wesleyan's first singles point came in a hurry at #2, where sixth-ranked Venia Yeung was absolutely dominant, cruising to a 6-1, 6-0 win.
- As darkness started to descend over Middlebury, Wesleyan was nearing the end of several matches, needing two more points to seal the victory and avoid having to move the match indoors due to darkness. Just moments before sunset, Victoria Yu finished off her match at #1 6-1, 6-2, and was soon followed by Polina Kiseleva at #4, a 6-3, 6-3 winner to give Wesleyan the decisive fifth point and book the Cardinal's ticket into Sunday's final.
The Cardinals set up a showdown against No. 3 Middlebury tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. for the NESCAC Championship, in a match that is expected to be played outdoors under sunny skies. Regardless of the winner, it will be the first time in history that the conference championship goes to a team other than Williams or Amherst. Earlier this year on Middlebury's indoor courts, the Panthers topped the Cardinals 5-4 in a tightly contested matchup between top-5 teams.
--Recap by Ben Shapiro--