February 25, 2012

Lions See Winning Streak Stopped by No.9 Rollins, 5-4

SAINT LEO, Fla. –  The Saint Leo women's tennis team (5-3) saw their two-match winning streak snapped at the hands of No.9 Rollins (2-2, 2-1 SSC) as they fell by a narrow 5-4 decision, Saturday morning from the Saint Leo Tennis Center.

The Sunshine State Conference duel saw Rollins propel themselves to a 2-1 doubles advantage. The slim one match lead proved to be the difference as the two schools split singles action with each taking three matches apiece, allowing Rollins to walk away with the win.

The Lions top pair of Laura Kemkes and Emily Singleton provided the Lions' lone doubles point as they bounced the Tars' team of Lisa Loft and Kayli Ragsdale, 8-1. Saint Leo succumbed to their opponents in the following two matches falling 8-3 and 8-6, respectively.

Singles saw Saint Leo claw back into the match as they took a 4-3 lead behind the efforts of Maria Benkirane at No.5, as well as Kemkes at the top flight spot and Singleton at No.2 singles. However, Rollins battled back to tie the match at No.3 singles in straight sets. The deciding match at No.4 singles proved to be a back-and-forth battle as Jeanette McDonald collected the first set, 6-3. Unfortunately, Mariana Salvador battled back to edge McDonald over the next two sets, 6-1, 6-3, to give Rollins the win.

"This was a tough loss for us today," said Head Coach James Bryce. "We put ourselves in a position to win the match, but couldn't pull it out in the end. I am still proud of their effort, however, and know that we have the right philosophy in place to succeed."

The Lions will get seven days off before traveling to Alabama for a three-match road swing. The Lions will challenge North Alabama and Delta State in a rare doubleheader on Saturday, March 3.

For more on the Saint Leo women's tennis team, visit SaintLeoLions.com.