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Georgetown College men's and women's tennis had a superb showing this past weekend at the Mid-South Conference Tournament. The women were the No. 3 seed, while the men were No. 5 and both challenged teams with which they previously struggled.
The women's team opened up the quarterfinals with an 8-1 win over University of Pikeville. Earlier this season the Tigers beat them 7-2. The victory set a semifinal rematch between the GC Tigers and the Tigers from Campbellsville University.
CU has been consistently strong this season and on March 21 at home handed Georgetown an 8-1 loss. GC was ready and came out on fire in the doubles portion. At one point or another all three doubles teams held an advantage. Kaitlyn Thompson and Emily Krick and Shelby Eden and Jacqueline Otis in their doubles matches, giving GC the early overall lead at 2-1.
"We knew it was going to be a battle," said GC coach Jessica Cunningham. "It was a test we were ready for and wanted. We thought we had made some adjustments and were playing much better than the first time we played Campbellsville."
In a match of nine points, the first team to five wins. Georgetown just needed three of the six singles matches to advance to the finals. Haley Hart and Thompson each won their respective matches and Eden was in a battle as the overall match was tied at four all. Eden dropped the first set 6-3, but roared back with a 6-4 win to push the game into a third set. Kristen Hamrick eventually held on to take the decisive fifth point and end GC's season.
"As I've said before it isn't always about wins and losses, just seeing the progress we made, and having this match go the distance is a testament to what our women's growth and resolve," Cunningham said. "This gives us a lot to build on going forward."
The men's team showed a very similar determination in its rematch with University of the Cumberlands. The Patriots came to Georgetown almost three weeks earlier and escaped with a 5-4 win, deciding the seeding for the upcoming tournament. UC was No. 4 and GC was No. 5.
A very different picture emerged Friday in Lexington. The men opened a 2-1 lead in doubles and never looked back. Cumberlands kept it interesting, 3-2 through the first two completed singles matches until Zach Thomas threw the gate wide open for the Tigers.
The junior rallied from a set down and faced a match point before storming back for the 0-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-1 win.
"That was a huge point for us," Cunningham said. "It put us a point from winning the match, and we already had two singles matches in progress that we were controlling."
Chris Bartlett, who was in the battle at the end of the regular season meeting that tipped the scales in UC's favor, sealed the match with a straight-set 6-3, 6-2 win over Mayeo Pena. Jose Baeza also won his match 6-2, 7-6 to add a point for good measure.
The Tigers then faced nationally ranked and traditional powerhouse Lindsey Wilson. They dropped all three doubles matches and the first two singles matches to end their season.
"Some didn't even expect to see us in the semifinals," Cunningham said. "The future is very bright for our men's team, and to get them all the match experience as possible is only going to help. It may look bad on the scoreboard to be defeated like that, but you have to take from it the lessons you learn in playing someone as talented as Lindsey Wilson."
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