SPARKILL, N.Y. - - The Wilmington University women's tennis team couldn't close out the St. Thomas Aquinas Spartans, dropping their first match against an NCAA Division II opponent this season, 4-3, on Saturday at the Riley Family Tennis Courts.
In a matchup of nationally ranked teams, it was the No. 26 ranked Wildcats that threw the first punch, winning the doubles points. But the No. 36 ranked Spartans came back and won four of the first five singles matches to claim the match, 4-3.
Larize Nel and Fenna Swaan made quick work of their opponents at No. 3 doubles, 6-0, and then Valentina Ivankovic and Marley Trifunovic gave the Wildcats the point with a 6-2 win at No. 2 doubles. Jess Purdy and Neus Ramos Moreno put up a fight at No. 1 singles, but the Spartans were able to squeeze out the victory in a tiebreak, 11-9.
The Spartans tied the match, 1-1, with a win at No. 1 singles. Begona Gomar dropped the first set but fought back to win at No. 3 doubles, 1-6, 6-1, and 6-3, to put the Wildcats back on top, 2-1.
St. Thomas Aquinas tied the match, 2-2, with a win at No. 4 singles, and then took the lead, 3-2, with a win in straight sets at No. 5 singles. The Wildcats didn't have a chance to make it down to the final match of the day, as the Spartans closed out the victory at No. 2 singles, winning the third set against Jess Purdy, 6-3.
Larize Nel came back from a first set loss to win at No. 6 singles in a third set superset, 11-9, giving the Wildcats their third point.
The Wildcats stay on the road for their next match as they head over to Ewing, New Jersey to battle The College of New Jersey. The Lions are ranked No. 39 in the ITA Division III National Poll. The first serve is set for 12:00 p.m.