Sunday, January 29, 2023

W&M Women’s Tennis Roars into the CAA Finals with a Convincing 4-0 Win over Elon

W&M women's tennis
(WYDaily/Courtesy of William & Mary Athletics)

WILLIAMSBURG — William & Mary women’s tennis won its fourth straight and continued to dominate at the Colonial Athletic Association Championship, avenging a regular-season setback to Elon in convincing fashion, 4-0, on Saturday afternoon at the Millie West Tennis Facility.

The Green and Gold (7-8) uses a similar combination to its late season surge to capture the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 2. Junior Mila Saric and sophomore Raffaella Alhach ran their win streaks to seven and five, respectively, with singles triumphs at No. 1 and No. 5. Senior Vitoria Okuyama won the clincher at No. 4 to send the Tribe to the CAA title match for the six-straight time.

W&M snapped Elon’s six-match win streak and the Phoenix finished the year at 17-5.

How It Happened
– Graduate student Jill van den Dungen and Okuyama gave the Tribe the early lead in doubles, winning the final two games at the top spot for a 6-4 victory over Lizette Reding and Alison O’Dea. The Tribe duo ran its record to 4-0 at No. 1.
– After an Elon win at No. 3, Saric and sophomore Alisia Manolescu clinched the doubles point with a 6-4 win on line two over Olivia Archer and Sibel Tanik. The Green and Gold pairing broke the Phoenix in the eighth game to go up 5-3 on the way to victory. They are 3-0 on the year and 2-0 at No. 2.
– Saric wasted little time increasing the Tribe lead to 2-0 with another dominating win at the top post. She dropped just three games in winning her seventh in a row, 6-1, 6-2, over Victoria Saldh. Saric improved to 10-2 this season at No. 1.
– In total, the Tribe won the opening set at five of the six positions and forced a third set in the lone opening set it dropped at No. 2.
– Alhach ran her record to 5-0 at No. 5, rolling to matching 6-1 sets in taking down Sofia Edo and extending the Tribe lead to 3-0. She has won five in a row and is 6-3 overall on the year.
– Okuyama claimed the clinching match for the third time in the last four Tribe victories. She topped Olivia Archer, 6-3, 6-2, at No. 4 for her third win in a row. Okuyama improved to 4-2 at No. 4 and 7-6 overall.

RELATED STORY: W&M Women’s Tennis Rolls in the CAA Semifinals

Up Next
The Tribe advances to the CAA Championship where it will face top-seeded James Madison in a rematch of the 2019 title contest. In fact, W&M and JMU have met for the CAA title in each of the last three championships and four of the last five. The 2021 title tilt is slated for a 1 p.m. start from the Millie West Tennis Facility.

#3 William & Mary 4, #2 Elon 0

No. 1 – Mila Saric (W&M) def. Victoria Saldh (Elon) – 6-1, 6-2
No. 2 – Jill van den Dungen (W&M) vs. Sibel Tanik (Elon) – DNF, 1-6, 6-2, 0-2
No. 3 – Elisa Van Meeteren (W&M) vs. Lizette Reding (Elon) – DNF, 6-4, 2-3
No. 4 – Vitoria Okuyama (W&M) def. Olivia Archer (Elon) – 6-3, 6-2
No. 5 – Raffaela Alhach (W&M) def. Sofia Edo (Elon) – 6-1, 6-1
No. 6 – Alisia Manolescu (W&M) vs. Alison O’Dea (Elon) – DNF, 6-2, 4-1
Finishing Order: 1, 5, 4*

No. 1 – van den Dungen/Okuyama (W&M) def. Reding/O’Dea (Elon) – 6-4
No. 2 – Saric/Manolescu (W&M) def. Archer/Tanik (Elon) – 6-4
No. 3 – Saldh/Edo (Elon) def. Alhach/Van Meeteren (W&M) – 6-2
Finishing Order: 1, 3, 2*


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